Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Haley was up big before Monday

It's hard to say at this point what the fallout of an alleged extramarital affair will be for Nikki Haley, but she'll have to see an incredible drop in her support not to get one of the two runoff spots when South Carolina voters go to the polls two weeks from today. A PPP survey conducted Saturday and Sunday, before the news broke, found Haley with a 20 point lead on the GOP field. She was at 39% with Henry McMaster at 18%, Gresham Barrett at 16%, and Andre Bauer at 13% closely matched for that second place spot.

Haley's favorables far outpaced the rest of the field at +34 (47/13). McMaster is next best at +21 (43/22), followed by Barrett at +10 (28/18), and with Bauer bringing up the rear by a wide margin at -23 (26/49).

If Haley does see a decline in her support McMaster may see his position solidify as the second candidate in the runoff. Among people who were planning to vote for Haley over the weekend 29% have a favorable opinion of him compared to 19% who see Bauer and Barrett positively.

Haley's wide lead was remarkably consistent across generic, ideological, and regional lines in the South Carolina electorate. She had a 40-19 lead over McMaster with conservatives and a similarly large 35-17 one with moderates. She was pulling 39% with men and women alike. And she led 41-19 in the Midlands over McMaster, 40-21 in the Low Country over McMaster, and 37-24 over Barrett in the Upstate. Haley clearly had broad support from every important segment of Republican voters, at least until yesterday.

It's too early to count Barrett out- he has more room to grow than any of the other candidates as 54% of voters still don't know enough about him to have formed an opinion. If he is able to significantly bring up his name recognition in the next few weeks and voters like what they see he could certainly slip into the top two. And he has recent precedent to point to where Mark Sanford as a Congressman running against several statewide office holders started back in the polls but caught up at the end.

Despite his very high negatives it's probably too early to count Bauer out either. With the candidates so closely bunched it is conceivable he could make the runoff since he does have some solid base of support. The only way he could possibly win a runoff is if it was against Haley and a bunch more bad stuff came about her. That's a long shot but Bauer came back from the dead during his reelection bid in 2006 so he's shown the ability to do it before. One thing's for sure- Democrats would love to see Bauer as the nominee as there's no doubt he provides their best chance of winning in the fall.

It's going to be interesting to see how this race develops in the final two weeks.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Wow. Just amazing how everyone is so sure it's true. I mean the Columbia Free Press -- well, it must be true! (Yet nobody really wanted to talk about John Edwards.) And did I miss the fact that Mr. Blogger works for another candidate? That probably has nothing to do with it. It's totally normal to work for one candidate and endorse another -- happens all the time. And I know if I was married and having an affair, I would certainly tell one of my workers, wouldn't you? And I would keep all kinds of emails, text messages and phone messages for years -- even after I married someone else. Yep, I say guilty without proof! That's the NEW American way!

Max Dige said...

Wow the power of a Sarah Palin endorsement!!!

Anonymous said...

This is going to back fire on the good old boys big time. The women of South Carolina are going to unite behind Haley because of this smear. I wouldn't be surprised to see Haley, Jenny Sanford and Palin all campaigning together across the state for the last couple of days of the campaign putting up a united front against the good old boys. I'm predicting a huge women turnout for the primary with Haley getting 70% of the women's vote and getting 55% overall to win without a runoff.

Anonymous said...

I've been brewing over this situation for the past two days... wondering if it's true or if this is just another ploy from the "good ole boys" who don't want their boat rocked as Haley's been doing over the past couple of years. Either way, I've come to the conclusion, it really doesn't matter, she is by far the best choice in this race. If she did make a mistake/error in judgement, that's something she needs to deal with in her personal life. If she didn't, shame on those who want us to believe she did... The rest of these candidates are what's wrong with SC politics.

Joe Perrone Jr. said...

I've known Andre since about 1995, and I know that he's never lost a race for political office. He not only won the Republican nomination for Lt. Gov, but did it in spite of his opponent having the backing of Gov. Sanford's wife. Andre has been a straight shooter with his constituents, and is a savvy campaigner. Do NOT count him out!

Anonymous said...

"If she did make a mistake/error in judgement, that's something she needs to deal with in her personal life."

I'm sure you said the same about Bill Clinton. Remarkable how Democrats face constant scrutiny and impeachment, yet when Republicans cheat, they usually get off scott-free, despite the fact they're the hypocrites preaching "family values."

Christian Liberty said...

Anonymous, Bill Clinton asked people to commit perjury to cover up his acts, something no Republican with any infidelity has ever done (to my knowledge). Your selective outrage shows that you are the hypocrite.

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