S.C. Gov. Haley gets mixed reviews in poll

The State (Columbia, S.C.)June 10, 2011 

A new poll finds S.C. voters evenly divided on Gov. Nikki Haley’s performance as governor but still willing to elect her again if they went back to the polls today.

Forty-two percent approve of Haley’s job performance thus far while 41 percent disapprove, and 17 percent are undecided, according to the survey of 741 S.C. voters by Public Policy Polling, a polling company in North Carolina that built its reputation polling for Democrats.

The poll found the number of voters dissatisfied with Haley’s job performance is growing.

When Public Policy polled South Carolinians about Haley a month after she took office, 36 percent approved of her while 24 percent rated her poorly.

Chip Felkel, a S.C. Republican political consultant, said the increase in dissatisfied voters is not surprising.

“The honeymoon is over, but the marriage isn’t,” Felkel said. “It’s the difference between being an untested candidate and being a governor. She’s had to make some tough decisions in a tough budget year, and you would expect that some people would become dissatisfied.”

Haley is unfazed by the results, her spokesman said.

“Her focus is on boosting our economy, reducing spending, and making state government more accountable and taxpayer friendly,” said spokesman Rob Godfrey. “Poll numbers can be fun, but they’re really a sideshow.

Because the poll was conducted during the first week of June, its results do not factor in Haley’s most recent actions — unsuccessfully trying to call lawmakers back from a legislative break last week to finish her legislative agenda.

Haley’s move garnered kudos from Tea Party members and other South Carolinians who want to see state government restructured. It also sparked a ruling by the state Supreme Court against Haley, saying the new Republican governor did not have the authority under the Constitution to call lawmakers back from their break.

Scott Huffmon, a political scientist and pollster at Winthrop University, said he doubts the special session battle will affect Haley’s approval ratings.

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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