Onetime South Carolina Republican gubernatorial long shot Nikki Haley has taken a double-digit lead just three weeks before the primary, according to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports.
According to the poll, 30 percent of the likely GOP primary voters surveyed favored Haley, a Lexington state representative. Attorney General Henry McMaster was second with 19 percent, U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett had 17 percent and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer had 12 percent. Eighteen percent of voters have yet to make up their mind.
The poll of more than 900 voters was conducted Monday, immediately following last Friday's dual campaign events with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former first lady Jenny Sanford. The automated telephone poll reported a margin of error of 3 percent.
In a March Rasmussen Reports poll, Haley was fourth in the field.
"Primary turnout is always unpredictable, but the high-profile endorsement is undoubtedly good for Haley’s name recognition, especially among a conservative electorate with a strong Tea Party tinge," Rasmussen Reports wrote. "It remains to be seen whether the Palin endorsement produces a lasting change in the race or if it simply provides Haley with a short-term bounce."
Voters go to the polls June 8 to choose a nominee.