Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has a double-digit lead in South Carolina, according to new poll from a GOP consultant.
The Oct. 30-31 survey of likely S.C. voters found Trump has a 47-to-36 lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Palmetto State, according to Lexington political consultant Walter Whetsell, who conducted the poll.
“Donald Trump is peaking at the right time, and Hillary Clinton is sagging at the wrong time,” said S.C. GOP chair Matt Moore. “From all indications, her campaign is in free fall, and it’s just a matter of how far she falls.”
S.C. Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison questioned the value of the poll, citing others that have shown Clinton trimming Trump’s lead. “Hillary Clinton at the very least will get what a Democrat historically gets in South Carolina – at least 42, 43 percent.”
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About 13 percent of the 600 likely S.C. voters surveyed said they were undecided. Three percent favored Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Independent candidate Evan McMullin, a conservative former CIA agent who announced his candidacy in August, pulled just 1 percent as he made his first appearance on one of Whetsell’s polls.
“There seem to be a lot of unmovable voters who support both of these candidates,” Whetsell said, referring to Clinton and Trump. “It’s sort of ironic how few voters there are fighting in the middle.”
Other polls have found the S.C. race to be closer. A Winthrop University poll in September showed Trump ahead 42-38, just inside that poll’s 4.5-percent margin of error.
But Whetsell said his poll’s results mostly align with seven other surveys his firm has conducted since late September.
Trump pulled at least 46 percent and at most 51 percent of the likely S.C. vote in those surveys, while Clinton was as low as 31 percent and as high as 38 percent, Whetsell said.