Poll shows SC Gov. Haley with double-digit lead over challenger; Democrats cry foul

Staff reportsApril 17, 2014 

— Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, of Lexington, holds a double-digit lead over her Democratic challenger, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, of Camden, in November’s race for governor, according to a poll released Thursday.

The automated phone survey of 750 likely S.C. voters, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research for Rasmussen Reports, found Haley leading Sheheen by 52-37. Three percent of those surveyed said they liked some other candidate, and 7 percent were undecided. The margin of error for the poll was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“Our campaign is very confident about our position in the race because of Governor Haley’s great record in office,” said Rob Godfrey, spokesman for the governor’s re-election campaign, “but we take nothing for granted and will work hard all the way to Election Day.”

The Sheheen camp responded the poll “is not a real indicator of the state of this race,” noting that, when Haley and Sheheen faced off in 2010, Rasmussen showed Haley leading Sheheen by 17 percentage points in September. Haley went on to defeat Sheheen by 4.5 percentage points.

“Right-leaning Rasmussen has proven nationally, and here in South Carolina in 2010, that their polls aren’t worth the paper they are printed on,” said Andrew Whalen, campaign manager for Sheheen. “Throughout the 2010 race their bogus and wildly inaccurate polls repeatedly showed Nikki Haley with similarly absurd leads in a race she barely won.”

Two previous polls, conducted last fall, put the race closer.

Haley led Sheheen by nine percentage points, 48-39, with 13 percent undecided in late October, according to Harper Polling, which conducted its poll for the Conservative Intelligence Briefing blog.

A poll conducted for the Democratic Governors Association earlier in October had Haley leading Sheheen 44 percent to 40 percent.

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