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02/08/2012

S.C. Residents Share Opinions with Winthrop Poll on Religion, Tourism and the Economy

Quick Facts

 When asked the most important problem facing the country and SC, respondents primarily zeroed-in on the economy, jobs, and the budget, but politicians/government was named frequently enough to come in fourth—by 8.7 percent citing national problems, and 6.8 percent citing statewide problems.
 Mitt Romney may not have won the S.C. GOP primary, but South Carolinians may believe that it raised Governor Nikki Haley’s national profile. At 11.8 percent, she was the most frequently named as the most nationally famous living South Carolinian.

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Scott Huffmon
RESULTS OF LATEST WINTHROP POLL TAKEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA ARE IN

ALMOST 60 PERCENT THINK U.S. HEADED IN WRONG DIRECTION IDENTICAL NUMBER SAY U.S. ECONOMY GETTING BETTER,  U.S. ECONOMY GETTING WORSE

MORE THAN 1-IN-5 WORRIED ABOUT RUNNING OUT OF FOOD BEFORE THEY COULD AFFORD TO BUY MORE DURING THE PAST YEAR

ALMOST 3-IN-4 BELIEVES HUMANS CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE—AT LEAST TO SOME EXTENT BUT ALMOST 50 PERCENT FEEL STRICTER ENVIRONMENT LAWS AND REGS COST TOO MANY JOBS AND HURT ECONOMY

ALMOST 30 PERCENT UNABLE TO IDENTIFY JOE BIDEN AS VICE PRESIDENT

GOV. NIKKI HALEY NAMED MOST NATIONALLY FAMOUS LIVING PERSON FROM SC, BEATING OUT OTHER SC POLS—AND STEPHEN COLBERT
OF THOSE WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH COLBERT, ALMOST 25% FELT VERY, OR SOMEWHAT, FAVORABLY TOWARDS HIM

IT’S A GREAT DAY IN SC—VAST MAJORITY SAY THEY HADN’T EXPERIENCED A GREAT DEAL OF STRESS OR WORRY DAY BEFORE BEING POLLED

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The results of the latest Winthrop Poll, of 878 adults living in South Carolina, taken between Jan. 29-Feb. 6 are in (no calling was done on Feb. 5, 2012, Super Bowl Sunday).

Results which use all respondents have a margin of error of +/-3.31% at the 95% confidence level. Reported results using a subset of the entire sample will naturally have a higher margin of error, according to Scott Huffmon, director of the Winthrop Poll and a professor of political science.

For additional information on methodology, see conclusion of poll. Click here for questions and responses.

Among the Winthrop Poll findings:

• When asked, respondents said by an almost 2-to-1 margin (59 to 32.1 percent), they believed the U.S. is headed in the wrong, rather than right, direction.
• Fewer (46 percent) believe that South Carolina is taking the wrong path.

It’s the economy. When asked the most important problem facing the country and SC, respondents primarily zeroed-in on the economy, jobs, and the budget, but politicians/government was named frequently enough to come in fourth—by 8.7 percent citing national problems, and 6.8 percent citing statewide problems.

• The identical number of all respondents (45.8 percent) felt that economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better or getting worse. Independents were almost evenly divided on the subject, as well (46.1 percent saying it is getting better, 45.1 percent saying it is getting worse).

• Of those polled, 83.3 percent say they have Internet access in their homes.

• 47.1 percent feel either very strongly, or somewhat strongly, that stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs.

Mitt Romney may not have won the S.C. GOP primary, but South Carolinians may believe that it raised Governor Nikki Haley’s national profile. At 11.8 percent, she was the most frequently named as the most nationally famous living South Carolinian. She was followed by Sen. Jim DeMint with 5.8 percent, with Sen. Lindsey Graham just behind that with 5.4 percent. Former Governor Mark Sanford edged out Congressman Jim Clyburn, and comedian/actor Stephen Colbert (4.6 and 4.1 percent, respectively). 42.8 percent couldn’t think of anyone.
 
• Of those familiar with Stephen Colbert—who was raised in SC, and frequently mentions the state on his program—and most recently was in the news talking about his Super PAC and forming an exploratory committee to decide whether to run for the President of the United States of South Carolina, 23.5 percent felt very, or somewhat, favorably disposed towards him.

• 21.3 percent worried often or sometimes in the past 12 months, that they would not be able to afford to buy food when it ran out.

• Despite the protracted economic downturn, 58 percent of respondents said they had spent more than two nights away from home on vacation in 2011. But 64.7 percent said they had taken their main vacation outside of South Carolina.

Governor Haley has asked state employees to answer their phones by saying, “It’s a great day in South Carolina.” Well, apparently South Carolinians do feel that way. When asked, 66.4 percent say they had not experienced stress during much of the day before they were polled, and 73.7 percent say that during that same period, they hadn’t been worrying a lot.

• In a state plagued by obesity and high rates of diabetes, 68.5 percent say they had engaged in somewhat strenuous physical activity during the past month.

• Almost 30 percent (29.3 percent) could not accurately identify who the current vice president—Joe Biden—is. Almost one-quarter (23 percent) couldn’t remember who the vice president is; 3.3 percent supplied the incorrect name; and 3 percent named Dick Cheney.

NOTE:

The target population of this survey is the adult population of South Carolina. Therefore, it would be an ERROR to compare these results to results from surveys where the target population was registered voters, likely voters, or any other target population. 

METHODOLOGY:

The survey used (1) Random Digit Dialing (RDD), and (2) wireless phone number sampling.
Phone numbers selected for the survey were re-dialed five or more times in an attempt to reach a respondent. Once a household was reached, we also employed procedures to randomize within households.

Additionally, we:
(1) Screen the wireless sample for wireless-only status since individuals who have a cell phone and a land line already have an established probability of appearing in the RDD
and
(2) Weight responses based on sex, age, and race according to the known population of adults in South Carolina.

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