Politics & Government

Poll: Haley holds lead in S.C. governor's race

Republican gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley continues to hold a double-digit lead over Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday.

Haley, a Lexington County state representative, won the support of 49 percent of the 500 likely voters polled in an automated telephone survey July 29, a 14 percentage point lead over Sheheen's 35 percent support. Twelve percent of voters said they were undecided. In a June 28 Rasmussen poll, Haley held a 12 percentage point lead over Sheheen.

But the poll shows Haley's support has declined since easily winning the GOP primary in June, falling below 50 percent for the first time since she became the GOP front-runner. Haley registered 55 percent support in a June 14 Rasmussen poll and 52 percent in the June 28 Rasmussen. Sheheen's support has also declined since the June 28 poll, when 40 percent of those surveyed supported Sheheen, a Kershaw County state senator.

The margin of error for the poll is 4.5 percent.

Both campaigns said the poll was good news for their candidates.

"We continue to be very pleased with where we are in the race," said Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey, "and will continue to work hard … to bring Nikki's message of conservative reform to the voters."

Sheheen campaign manager Trav Robertson reacted similarly.

"The people of South Carolina have yet to decide who will be their next governor," Robertson said, adding when voters learn about both candidates they will choose Sheheen.

Clemson University political scientist Dave Woodard said voters may be a little dissatisfied with the candidates after the primary.

"People have some buyer's remorse with both candidates," Woodard said.

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