Fox News polling (1/5-8; 808 SC likely Democratic primary voters) also sees Mr. Steyer making a major move in South Carolina, the fourth voting state on the presidential primary calendar. Here, he moves into sole position of second place with 15%, but well behind former Vice President Joe Biden’s 36% support figure. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) drops back to third, just behind Steyer with 14%, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg post 10 and 4% preference numbers.
Mr. Steyer’s more strategic spending has allowed him to make gains in the early voting states. Candidate Michael Bloomberg, the media mogul and ex-three-term Mayor of New York City has actually spent more is a shorter time period, but his operation spending throughout the nation has clearly not yielded the type of return that Mr. Steyer is seeing.
Change Research (12/6-11; 998 SC likely voters) returns a new South Carolina Senate poll that can be considered, at face value, to be an anomaly. The data shows Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) topping former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison (D), 47-45%, far different than the other publicly released surveys from earlier in the year.
In October, for example, Benchmark Research found Graham’s advantage hovering in the 53-30% range. The only other previous survey not to find Graham with a substantial lead was again Change Research, back in September, when they posted the Senator to a 50-43% split.
Sen. Graham will be receiving a great deal of media attention once the impeachment proceedings reach the Senate, since he will be one of the leading defenders for the President. Therefore, the South Carolina Senate campaign, despite being conducted in a safely Republican state, can be expected to attract more attention and resources as a result of what is sure to be Sen. Graham’s polarizing role in the impeachment proceedings.
A new Change Research survey of the South Carolina Democratic electorate (12/6-11; 392 SC likely Democratic primary voters) for the first time projects a tightening of the state’s ballot test. While former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead here, as he has since the campaign began, this new data forecasts his edge narrowing to 27-20-19-9% over Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The margin now resembles the type of spreads we are seeing in national research studies.
South Carolina, the fourth voting state that will host a primary contest on February 29th, has 54 first ballot delegates. According to this survey, it appears that three of the candidates, Mr. Biden and Sens. Sanders and Warren, would each receive delegate votes for surpassing the 15% threshold.
International pollster YouGov conducted simultaneous surveys in the first four voting states and finds former Vice President Joe Biden having trouble in Iowa and New Hampshire but doing well in Nevada and South Carolina. All of the surveys were conducted between Nov 6-13, with sampling sizes ranging from 570 to 877 likely Democratic voters.
In Iowa, Mr. Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are tied with just 22% apiece. Following in a virtual three-way tie is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 21%, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) closely trails with 19%. Mr. Biden is significantly behind Sen. Warren in New Hampshire (31-22%), while Sen. Sanders and Mayor Buttigieg record 20 and 16%, respectively.
Conversely, Mr. Biden opens up a lead in Nevada, 33-23-21-9%, over Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg, where, in South Carolina, the former Vice President is staked to a wide 45-17-15-8% advantage over Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg. The question that can’t yet be answered is whether Mr. Biden could withstand losing the first two nominating events without weakening his vote base in Nevada and South Carolina.
The University of North Florida pollsters also tested the Palmetto State Democratic electorate (11/5-13; 436 SC likely Democratic primary voters) and found similar results to the YouGov data. UNF sees former Vice President Joe Biden also holding a strong lead with 36% preference. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) follow with 10% apiece. Here, billionaire Tom Steyer places fourth with 8%, as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg trail with 4 and 3%, respectively.
Mr. Biden has consistently enjoyed strong leads in South Carolina, which becomes even more important for him if he falls in both Iowa and New Hampshire. This bridge state to Super Tuesday – South Carolina votes three days prior – becomes critical for the candidates who do not do well in the first two, or even three, nominating events.
Fundraising has been strong for the impending South Carolina Senate race as leading Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, a former state Democratic Party chairman, has already raised $4 million for his campaign against incumbent GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. By contrast, however, Sen. Graham has banked $12.8 million.
A new just-released Benchmark Research survey (10/15-21; 450 SC registered voters) finds the Senator holding a substantial 53-30% lead over Mr. Harrison.
Yesterday’s impeachment inquiry vote saw only two members, both Democrats, buck the party line. Four members, however, did not vote, but all had reasons for not attending the session that had nothing to do with President Trump. Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) was absent for health reasons. William Timmons (R-SC) was on military assignment with his Army Reserve unit. Jody Hice (R-GA) was tending to family matters with the passing of his father. It is unclear why Rep. John Rose (R-TN) was not present for the vote. Rep McEachin would have been a yes vote for the inquiry, while the three Republicans were sure “noes.”
A key 2020 congressional race will occur in the Palmetto State’s 1st District. There, freshman Democrat Joe Cunningham (D-Charleston) will face stiff competition in his first re-election battle. The Club for Growth sponsored a WPA Intelligence poll (10/15-16; 400 SC-1 likely Republican primary voters) that projects state Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Daniel Island), who starts out as the most well-known of the candidates, leading the group with 23%. Following with 8% apiece are Beaufort County Councilman Mike Covert and Bikers for Trump founder Chris Cox. Mount Pleasant Town Councilwoman Kathy Landing registers 5% support.
Monmouth University surveyed the South Carolina Democratic electorate (10/16-21; 402 SC likely Democratic primary voters) and found a familiar pattern. Continuing to demonstrate southern dominance, former Vice President Joe Biden posts a 33-16-12-6-4-3% major advantage over Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), billionaire Tom Steyer, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, respectively. The Biden standing at this level has been consistent for months.
An online Change Research poll (9/17-21; 809 SC likely voters) finds Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) leading former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison (D) by a 50-43% clip. Though the margin appears low for a South Carolina Republican, particularly an incumbent, GOP candidates typically under-poll in the state. Even so, Sen. Graham is beyond the polling margin of error and his advantage is likely a bit stronger than this survey indicates.
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