COLUMBIA — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who will get a visit from S.C. pastors later this week, led a pool of 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls among Palmetto State Republican voters, according to new poll.
Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008, received 18 percent ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (17 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (14 percent) in the poll from Gravis Marketing.
A pair of U.S. senators who have visited South Carolina this year -- Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky -- followed.
Among all registered voters -- South Carolina allows anyone to vote in a party primary -- Christie led Bush and Huckabee by slight margins.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, received 54 percent of the vote among more libertarian-leaning opponents in his GOP primary bid next year, the poll found.
State Sen. Lee Bright of Spartanburg was second at 10 percent followed by Charleston public relations firm owner Nancy Mace (6 percent), Upstate businessman Richard Cash (5 percent) and Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor (2 percent).
Gravis polled 601 S.C. registered voters from Nov. 30-Dec. 2. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent. The firm did not provide data on the results with only Republican voters.