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03/02/2011

Winthrop Poll: Huckabee First Choice Among Probable GOP Primary Voters

Quick Facts

 The poll was conducted among those 18 years and older from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, with an oversampling of registered voters.
 Data utilizing all respondents has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.41 percent.

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Scott Huffmon
ROCK HILL, S.C. - The results of the latest Winthrop Poll, of 825 respondents in 11 Southern states, taken between Feb. 21 and Feb. 27 are in.

The poll was conducted among those 18 years and older from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, with an oversampling of registered voters. Check questions and answers here.

The survey used Random Digit Dialing (RDD) and wireless phone number sampling. Data utilizing all respondents has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.41 percent.

Among the Winthrop Poll findings:

Mike Huckabee, who’s said he won’t run for president if he doesn’t think he can win, should be heartened by his support from “Probable Republican Primary Voters.” When asked who they would vote for as the next GOP nominee for president, the 21.9 percent Huckabee received easily eclipsed Newt Gingrich’s 12.9 percent. Sarah Palin garnered 8.7 percent, while Mitt Romney edged out Tim Pawlenty 6.9 to 6.2 percent. Ron Paul, who won the CPAC straw poll, posted 5.8 percent, while Michelle Bachmann, touted in recent days as a force to be reckoned with, was way back in the pack with 1.1 percent. (Note: Names read to respondents were taken from the list of those receiving votes at CPAC. Preferences of rank-and-file Republicans in the South and those of party activists may move closer as the election drawers nearer).

• Independents lead the way in dissatisfaction with the track the country is on, with more than three-out-of-four (75.5 percent) believing we are headed in the wrong direction. This represents an increase of almost 20 percent in the number of Independents (57.7 percent) who voiced their disapproval in Nov. 2009 when Winthrop last polled 11 Southern states.

• Registered Voters, Democrats, Republicans and Independents agree almost equally that the economy and economic/financial crisis is the #1 problem facing the country today. However, of the top three responses offered by Democrats, 13.4% mentioned education (no other category did) and 15.5 percent of Republicans mentioned the price of oil/gas/other energy issues, a fact particularly relevant in light of the recent unrest in the Mideast.

• Almost 40 percent of all respondents are not very confident or not at all confident about President Obama’s ability to handle threats to the U.S. Among Independents, 45.3 percent feel that way, and for Republicans it’s 62 percent.

• Almost twice as many people in the South felt that economic conditions in their region were very good or fairly good (37.3 percent) as compared to only 21 percent who characterize the national economy that way.

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