A new poll shows a new candidate has taken the lead in the race for a runoff spot in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
A poll for the John Warren campaign by the firm Fabrizio Lee shows the Greenville businessman in position to make a runoff with incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, ahead of Catherine Templeton.
The poll, conducted between May 29 and May 31, shows McMaster in first place with the support of 33 percent of GOP primary voters. Warren is in second with 19 percent, and Catherine Templeton is in third with 17 percent.
Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant had 5 percent of the vote, while former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill had 2 percent, with 24 percent undecided.
Warren, a business leader making his first run for elected office, has gained ground in recent weeks with a largely self-financed campaign.
If no candidate wins a majority in the first round of the June 12 primary, the top two will face each other in a runoff two weeks later, on June 26.
The firm polled 500 likely GOP voters in the Palmetto State through live interviews on a mix of landline and cellphone numbers. It has a margin of error of about 4 percent.
Warren's campaign thinks its advertising campaign has been effective. The poll shows 31 percent of those who have seen Warren's TV ads support the candidate, versus 28 percent who say they will vote for McMaster and 14 percent Templeton. Twenty percent of ad-watchers said they were undecided.
Warren also leads among voters who have seen ads from all three of the top candidates. According to the poll, 30 percent of those voters picked Warren, compared to McMaster's 27 percent and Templeton's 15 percent.