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12/05/2012

Latest Winthrop Poll Covers Approval Ratings, Economy and Tea Party

Quick Facts

 Almost one month to-the-day after Barack Obama won a second term as president, 48% of all South Carolinians polled approved of the job he is doing. The category of respondents who most disapproved of his performance—at 51.9%—were those who reported that they had voted in the presidential election last month.
 When you factor in the margin of error, and remove those who either expressed no opinion—or refused to answer whether they approved or disapproved of her job performance—S.C. Governor Nikki Haley garnered roughly even approval/disapproval ratings among all those polled, registered voters, and those who voted in the 2012 presidential election.

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Scott Huffmon

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The results of the latest Winthrop Poll, of 929 respondents living in South Carolina, are in. The survey was in the field from Nov. 25-Dec. 2, 2012.

After weights (for sex, age, and race) have been applied, results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately+/- 3.5% at the 95% confidence level. Results that use less than the full sample (e.g. just registered voters or just those who voted in the 2012 presidential election) will naturally have a higher margin of error.

For data of those who voted in the 2012 presidential election, the sample size is 600 and after weights (for sex, age, and race) have been applied, results which only use these respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/-4% at the 95% confidence level, according to Poll Director Scott Huffmon, professor of political science.

For questions and responses, click here.

For more information on methodology, see here.

Among the Winthrop Poll findings:

• Almost one month to-the-day after Barack Obama won a second term as president, 48% of all South Carolinians polled approved of the job he is doing. The category of respondents who most disapproved of his performance—at 51.9%—were those who reported that they had voted in the presidential election last month.

• More than three-in-four of all respondents disapproved of the way Congress is doing its job.

• When you factor in the margin of error, and remove those who either expressed no opinion—or refused to answer whether they approved or disapproved of her job performance—S.C. Governor Nikki Haley garnered roughly even approval/disapproval ratings among all those polled, registered voters, and those who voted in the 2012 presidential election.

Governor Haley garners a much higher approval rating—61.5% vs. 19% who disapprove of her job performance—among those who are registered to vote and say they are either Republicans or Independents who lean Republican.

• Respondents were almost equally divided as to whether they think South Carolina is on the right track (40.2%) compared with those who say it is headed in the wrong direction (41.9%).

• 38.2% of those polled say Newt Gingrich, who bested Mitt Romney in the S.C. GOP primary in January, would have posted about the same result as Romney did in the presidential election. Almost 40% say he would have been less successful than Romney.

• Almost one-half of all respondents say they think that economic conditions in South Carolina are getting better, with over 50% of them rating their personal financial situation as excellent or good.

• While the U.S. Supreme Court has not tipped its hand this session as to whether it will hear any cases involving same-sex marriages, almost 50% of poll respondents said they felt somewhat—or very—strongly that S.C. law should not be used to decide the divorce cases of gay couples who were legally married in Washington D.C., or one of the nine states that allows it.

• Among registered voters, the number of respondents who said they were not members of the Tea Party was decidedly significant. While 90.8% said they were not, a mere 5.7% said they were.

The Winthrop Poll is partially underwritten by the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.


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