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More SC residents disapprove of Trump in new Winthrop Poll

Trump talks jobs and how much he loves South Carolina

President Donald Trump spoke during a visit to the Boeing factory in Charleston Friday afternoon. He spoke about creating jobs, his love for South Carolina, the Keystone Pipeline and some of the products made at Boeing.
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President Donald Trump spoke during a visit to the Boeing factory in Charleston Friday afternoon. He spoke about creating jobs, his love for South Carolina, the Keystone Pipeline and some of the products made at Boeing.

While S.C. Republicans remain fans of President Donald Trump, South Carolinians overall are more disapproving than not and deeply divided in their feelings about the commander in chief, according to a new poll released Thursday.

In a state where Trump won more than half the vote in November, only 44 percent of S.C. residents say the GOP president is doing a good job, compared to 47 percent who say he’s not, the new Winthrop Poll shows.

Trump’s national approval rating is reflected in South Carolina, where residents’ opinions of the president break along racial, gender and political lines.

The poll comes during a tumultuous launch for the president, who was sworn in about a month ago.

Trump has struggled to win approval of his Cabinet nominees, with one nomination scuttled and another appointee resigning amid controversy, and he’s fought with the courts over his controversial executive order banning refugees from entering the country.

The poll was in the field before and after Trump’s return to the Palmetto State last week. He visited Boeing aircraft manufacturer in North Charleston in an effort to shift the national focus back to jobs and the economy and to thank the state for his primary victory a year ago.

S.C. Republicans remain supportive of Trump, with more than three-quarters saying they approve of his performance. They also overwhelmingly said they are proud of the president, saying he is confident and stands up for people like them.

But S.C. African-Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Trump with four in five saying he’s doing a bad job. More than that said the words “proud” and “safe” do not describe how they feel about the president.

Trump fares better among white S.C. residents. Only 34 percent of white South Carolinians agreed that he’s doing a poor job, while more than half gave the president high marks.

Trump also is more popular among S.C. men. About half of the men polled said the president was doing a good job, while more women – 54 percent – disapprove of the president’s job performance.

Women also expressed more negative feelings about the president. More than half said Trump did not make them feel proud or safe.

Death penalty for Dylann Roof

The poll also showed that most S.C. residents, including 85 percent of whites and 70 percent of blacks, approve of Dylann Roof’s death penalty sentence.

The poll suggests a change of heart for black South Carolinians. A University of South Carolina poll done in June found that most black South Carolinians – 65 percent – said Roof should get life in prison, not the death penalty.

Those results came before Roof’s trial for the 2015 slaying of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church, when it was revealed that readings from the white supremacist’s jailhouse diary showed his lack of remorse.

Winthrop Poll director Scott Huffmon said the change may come from black S.C. residents’ acceptance of the trial’s outcome.

“Now that he’s been given death, they’re OK with it even if it wasn’t what they initially wanted the prosecutor to seek,” he said.

Who should redraw district lines

A majority – or 63 percent – of S.C. residents favor creating an independent panel to redraw the boundaries of political districts after the next U.S. Census.

Critics say sitting politicians, who control the process now, tend to pick the voters they want, leading to less competition for public office.

SC wallets filling up?

South Carolinians continue to see their wallets expanding.

Thirteen percent said their financial situation was excellent, up from 11 percent last September and 9 percent a year earlier. The largest group of respondants – 45 percent – still see their finances as good.

Rating the new governor

The poll also asked S.C. residents about their new governor, Republican Henry McMaster, who took over as the state’s chief executive when former Gov. Nikki Haley resigned to join the Trump administration as ambassador to the United Nations.

Forty-four percent of South Carolinians said they approve of McMaster, but more than a third said they don’t know enough to express an opinion.

Winthrop polled 703 S.C. residents. The poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

Winthrop Poll – Taking SC’s temperature on Trump

The Winthrop Poll surveyed 703 S.C. residents from February 12-21. The poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. Key findings:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Trump is handling his job?

Among S.C. residents

44 percent – Approve

47 percent – Disapprove

10 percent – Don’t know or refused

Among Republicans

77 percent – Approve

12 percent – Disapprove

12 percent – Don’t know or refused

Among whites

58 percent – Approve

34 percent – Disapprove

8 percent – Don’t know or refused

Among African-Americans

7 percent – Approve

79 percent – Disapprove

14 percent – Don’t know or refused

Among men

51 percent – Approve

39 percent – Disapprove

10 percent – Don’t know or refused

Among women

37 percent – Approve

54 percent – Disapprove

9 percent – Don’t know or refused

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster’s job performance

Among S.C. residents

44 percent – Approve

16 percent – Disapprove

36 percent – Don’t know

4 percent – Refused

Congress’ job performance

26 percent – Approve

64 percent – Disapprove

10 percent – Don’t know or refused

S.C. Legislature’s job performance

45 percent – Approve

37 percent – Disapprove

17 percent – Don’t know or refused

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s job performance

Among S.C. residents

44 percent – Approve

46 percent – Disapprove

10 percent – Don’t know or refused

Among S.C. Republicans

47 percent – Approve

49 percent – Disapprove

5 percent – Don’t know or refused

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s job performance

Among S.C. residents

55 percent – Approve

27 percent – Disapprove

19 percent – Don’t know or refused

Among S.C. Republicans

77 percent – Approve

8 percent – Disapprove

15 percent – Don’t know or refused

Direction of the United States

37 percent – Right track

55 percent – Wrong direction

8 percent – Don’t know or refused

Direction of South Carolina

55 percent – Right track

34 percent – Wrong direction

11 percent – Don’t know or refused

Most important problem facing the United States

9.8 percent – Immigration, including refugees

7.7 percent – Economy

7.1 percent – Racism

7 percent – Donald Trump

6.9 percent – Political division

Most important problem facing South Carolina

19.5 percent – Roads, bridges and infrastructure

11.6 percent – Jobs or unemployment

11.2 percent – Education

6.2 percent – Economy

5.7 percent – Racism

Rating the national economy

7 percent – Very good

52 percent – Fairly good

27 percent – Fairly bad

13 percent – Very bad

1 percent – Not sure

Rating the S.C. economy

9 percent – Very good

61 percent – Fairly good

19 percent – Fairly bad

7 percent – Very bad

4 percent – Not sure

Rating their own financial situation

13 percent – Excellent

45 percent – Good

30 percent – Only fair

12 percent – Poor

1 percent – Refused

On whether their financial situation is getting better or worse

63 percent – Getting better

23 percent – Getting worse

13 percent – Not sure or refused

On redrawing district lines

The poll asked whether S.C. residents would favor creating an independent commission to redraw the boundaries of political districts.

63 percent – Favor

30 percent – Oppose

7 percent – Not sure or refused

On giving Dylann Roof the death penalty

Roof was sentenced to death in the 2015 slaying of nine African-American parishioners at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

Among S.C. residents

81 percent – Approve

15 percent – Disapprove

5 percent – Not sure or refused

Among whites

85 percent – Approve

12 percent – Disapprove

3 percent – Not sure or refused

Among African-Americans

70 percent – Approve

24 percent – Disapprove

7 percent – Not sure or refused

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