A new Human Events/Gravis Marketing poll shows U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham with a 50 percent lead in the June GOP primary.
The poll shows Graham favored by 60 percent of voters, with state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, trailing the senator with 10 percent.
Charleston PR executive Nancy Mace polled at 7 percent, followed by Easley businessman Richard Cash at 4 percent and Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor at 2 percent.
Det Bowers, a Columbia pastor who has been campaigning quietly for the seat, was not included in the poll, run by Florida political consultant and Gravis Marketing president Doug Kaplan.
Seventeen percent of voters were undecided in the poll, conducted on March 6-7 by automated telephone call to "735 registered South Carolina voters," according to a news release about the poll.
Gravis Marketing does campaign consulting work for mostly Republican candidates, but also some Democratic candidates, Kaplan said.
But the South Carolina poll was not paid for by any campaign, Kaplan said, adding that his company is polling contested races in several states.
Kaplan said the poll, whose margin of error was 4 percentage points, was of "registered voters who have voted in a GOP primary."
The results show that Graham's numbers have not changed much since a poll Gravis conducted last November, when Graham ahead with 54 percent.
"People tend to think that South Carolina is an extremely conservative state, which is true, but the primaries are open, so you get a variety of voters," Kaplan said.
A February Winthrop Poll showed Graham at 45 percent among likely GOP primary voters and 35 percent of voters still undecided.
Asked how he explained the difference between the polls, Kaplan said to look at Graham's challengers' numbers, which were basically the same within the margin of error.
In the February Winthrop Poll, Bright polled at 8.5 percent and Cash, Connor and Mace each polled less than 4 percent.
Graham's spokesman Tate Zeigler said of the Gravis poll, “It’s too early for a poll to mean much – even this one showing Senator Graham 50 points ahead.
"(Graham) continues traveling to every corner of the state, hosting events, listening to the concerns of voters, opening campaign offices, and talking about his record," he said. "We’re running a grassroots campaign which is attracting new supporters each and every day and plans to peak on June 10 when Republican voters go to the polls."