Could Trump really lose South Carolina?

South CarolinaIn 1976, Jimmy Carter was the last Democratic nominee to win South Carolina in a presidential election. Could Hillary Clinton be the first Democrat to win the Palmetto State in 40 years?

A poll commissioned by the South Carolina Democratic Party was released by Public Policy Polling. Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by a margin of 41% to 39%. Gary Johnson receives 5% and Jill Stein  got 2%.

Clinton wins 84% of Democrats in the poll. Trump only receives 77% of Republicans. Both Trump and Clinton are viewed favorably by only 38% of respondents. Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 55% of respondents while Trump’s unfavorability rating is 56%.

The same poll asked about favorability/unfavorability of other politicians in the state. Lindsey Graham’s favorability ratings show him underwater. His favorable rating comes in at 30% while his unfavorable rating lands at 54%. His unfavorables stay pretty much the same across the board among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Tim Scott and Nikki Haley fare better in the favorability rankings. Respondents gave Scott a favorable/unfavorable ranking of 45/28. He has the same poll numbers for his re-election bid in November. Respondents gave Nikki Haley a favorable score of 48% and an unfavorable score of 39%. Her favorable number dropped 8 points from the 56% it was last fall.

Be sure to read the full release of the poll that includes crosstabs and the language of the poll questions.  PPP is a Democratic Party firm so there might be some degree of house effect in their polling. However, these numbers look bad for Trump even if you assume they are off a bit.

Jonathan Last of The Weekly Standard summed things up nicely about the state of the national race:

Trump isn’t just behind in the big battleground states. No, what should scare sense into any sophisticated Republicans is that Trump is clinging to bare leads in Utah, Kansas, and South Carolina. He’s behind in Georgia. This is not a presidential race. It’s The Poseidon Adventure.

Nate Silver of 538 even noted the SC Trump-Clinton numbers match his model:

As a native of the Palmetto State who has observed politics there for a long-time – and even participated in them – I would still be really surprised if Trump lost the state. The fact that it’s even close at this point should be a concern for his campaign. Of course, if he loses SC, he would definitely lose the whole thing. There’s a good chance Trump would lose the whole thing even if he squeaked by there.

Just a reminder, I’m not voting for Trump and I left the GOP recently.

More on South Carolina

More results from the PPP poll:

  • 84% of voters support background checks for all gun purchases, including 82% of Republicans.
  • 81% of voters support barring gun ownership for people on the terror watch list, including 85% of Republicans.
  • 77% of voters support a raise in the minimum wage to ten dollars, including 67% of Republicans.
  • 78% of voters supported student loans being refinanced at lower rates.
  • 53% of voters support LGBT anti-discrimination laws.

In closing, I would still be a bit surprised if Trump lost SC, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he won by a single-digit margin.

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton