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Winthrop Poll
10 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-4962
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Current Findings

November 2014 Winthrop Poll

For methodological questions please read the full Methodology Statement

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – With the holiday season underway, more than half of the South Carolina residents surveyed by the Winthrop Poll think they will spend about the same as last year on gifts.

Almost 16% said they would spend somewhat or significantly higher, while more than 26% said they would spend somewhat or significantly lower.

With the Great Recession occurring five years ago and the nation undergoing a slow recovery, South Carolina residents say jobs/unemployment is the most important problem facing the Palmetto State (16.7%), followed by education (16.3%), economy (12%), politicians/government (5.4 %) and moral values (4.4%). Meanwhile, respondents cited the following as the most important problems for the country, in the order of importance: economy, politicians/government, jobs/unemployment and immigration.

More than half (51.8%) see national economic conditions getting better, while 42.3% foresee conditions getting worse. Respondents also are optimistic about South Carolina’s economic conditions, with 67.6% saying they are getting better. Regarding their own financial situation, 60.1% say it is getting better.

Winthrop Poll callers surveyed 852 residents in South Carolina by landline and cell phones between Nov. 9-16. Forty percent of the respondents were reached via cell phone. The poll has an approximately +/- 3.4% margin of error. 

WOMEN’S ISSUES

S.C. residents agree overwhelmingly (87%) that women in the Palmetto State face discrimination. Almost half - men and women equally – said women here face some discrimination. Some 12.5% of the respondents (7.5% men and 17.3% women) said there is a lot of discrimination, while 26.7% said women face a little discrimination. Only 1 in 10 people said S.C. women face no discrimination.

Nearly half of respondents (39.8% men and 52.6% women) said the S.C. state government is out of touch with the needs of most women. Only 37% said the government is in touch.

Those responses parallel other topics of concern for women, including:

·         Job opportunities for women: 54.7% (43% men and 65.6% women) think there are worse opportunities for women than for men with similar education and experience.

·         Government intervention: Three-fourths of respondents said the S.C. government should pass laws requiring private companies to pay the same amount to men and women with the same job, while still allowing for different pay based on seniority or job performance.

·         Poverty: 43.4% of those polled said women - either somewhat or a lot more - live in poverty more so than men.

·         Domestic violence: Nearly 60% said the government does not do enough to combat domestic violence.

Yet feminists in South Carolina receive a mixed response. A little more than a quarter of respondents said they were neutral about feminists, while 37.5% were somewhat or very positive and another 23.9% were somewhat or very negative.

 
SEA-LEVEL CHANGE

Sea-level rise is an issue for South Carolina, particularly for those on the coast. More than half of respondents said they think the sea level is rising, though nearly 19% said they were not sure.

The Winthrop Poll asked when those surveyed think the effects would harm S.C. residents and property – now, in 10, 25, 50 or 100 years for all of South Carolina, for the coastal counties and for non-coastal counties. The results fell across the spectrum. The highest percentage of respondents – 23.7% – felt that in 25 years that the coastal counties of Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry and Jasper counties may be affected.

There was, however, support by nearly three-fourths of the respondents for state and local governments to make S.C. coastal communities better prepared for sea-level rise and impacts on coastal processes, such as erosion and storm surge.

 
POLITICAL PARTIES AND LEADERS

President Barack Obama’s approval rating in South Carolina remains low at 40.6% and lags behind national approval for Obama by several percentage points. 

Meanwhile, Congress’ approval rating also remains low at 14.1%, a figure that is nearly equal to the national opinion of Congress. 

Approval ratings of leaders in South Carolina all seemed to benefit from recent electoral success:

·         Governor Nikki Haley, 53.3%

·         S.C. State Legislature, 45.4%

·         U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., 49.5%

·         U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., 58.1%

Electoral success especially benefited Tim Scott who went from 36.9% of South Carolinians having no opinion of him in the last general population Winthrop Poll in April 2014 to only 19.1 having no opinion now. It appears that most of those "no opinions" were converted to approval.

Tea Party membership is claimed by only 6.3% of those surveyed, while only 22.9% approve of the movement. Some 44.7% aren’t sure enough about the movement to have an opinion. Both Tea Party membership and approval are roughly doubled among Republicans and Republican-Leaning Independents.



RESULTS
 

 T1. Demographics

 

 

Census

Survey

Male

47.9412

48.2

Female

52.05879

51.8

   

 

18-19

4.0608

4.1

20-29

17.966

17.8

30-39

16.4846

16.6

40-49

17.9802

17.7

50-59

17.7694

17.5

60-69

13.9953

13.7

70-79

7.5244

7.4

80-89

3.5764

3.5

90-99

0.6247

0.5

over 100

0.0184

0.0

Refused

--

1.2

   

 

White

68.57

68.2

Black

26.5

25.7

Other

4.93

4.8

Refused

--

1.3

 


T2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way
Barack Obama is handling his job as President of the United States?

 

 

All

Approve

40.6

Disapprove

52.1

Not Sure

6.2

Refused

1.0

 

 
T3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

 

 

All

Approve

14.1

Disapprove

78.7

Not Sure

6.4

Refused

0.8

 


T4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way
Nikki Haley is handling its job?

 

 

All

Approve

53.3

Disapprove

36.3

Not Sure

9.2

Refused

1.3

 


T
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the South Carolina State Legislature is handling its job?

 

 

All

Approve

45.4

Disapprove

39.3

Not Sure

13.2

Refused

2.1

 


T6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way
Lindsey Graham is handling his job?

 

 

All

Approve

49.5

Disapprove

38.9

Not Sure

10.5

Refused

1.0

 


T7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way
Tim Scott is handling his job?

 

 

All

Approve

58.1

Disapprove

20.2

Not Sure

19.1

Refused

2.6

 


T8. Thinking about the current path that our nation is taking, do you think our country is on the right track or headed in the wrong direction? 

 

 

All

Right Track

25.5

Wrong Direction

67.1

Don’t Know/ Refused

7.5

 


T9. Thinking about the current path that the state of South Carolina is taking, do you think South Carolina is on the right track or headed in the wrong direction? 

 

 

All

Right Track

52.8

Wrong Direction

37.6

Don’t Know/ Refused

9.6

 


T10. What do you think is the most important problem facing
the United States of America today?

 

 

All

Economy/ Economic-financial Crisis

13.9

Politicians/Government

10.4

Jobs or unemployment

7.3

Immigration

6.4

 

T11. What do you think is the most important problem facing the South
Carolina
today?

 

 

All

Jobs or unemployment

16.7

Education

16.3

Economy/ Economic-financial Crisis

12.0

Politicians/ Government

5.4

Moral values

4.4


T12. Now I'm going to read you the names of several public figures and groups or symbols. I'd like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don't know the name, please just say so.

 

Very Positive

Somewhat Positive

Neutral

Somewhat Negative

Very Negative

Don’t know/ Not sure

Refused

Barack Obama

21.2

18.5

11.9

14.9

32.5

0.2

0.8

Tim Scott

27.5

22.4

18.3

8.4

4.6

16.7

2.2

The National Republican Party

10.4

32.5

20.7

18.1

14.6

2.5

1.2

The National Democratic Party

12.3

24.0

20.0

18.7

21.2

2.8

1.0

Lindsey Graham

14.6

30.8

19.2

17.6

12.0

5.0

0.9

Nikki Haley

24.6

29.2

15.4

13.6

13.4

2.8

1.0

The Tea Party Movement

10.1

21.2

22.6

14.7

19.3

10.6

1.4

Christians

56.3

22.9

12.5

3.5

1.2

2.5

1.1

Muslims

5.6

15.5

36.4

18.2

17.6

4.6

2.0

Jews

29.6

24.7

32.5

2.1

1.8

6.8

2.4

Feminists

14.5

23.0

27.4

14.3

9.6

9.9

1.3

The Confederate flag

15.5

15.0

31.3

13.5

21.6

1.9

1.2

           NOTE: the order in which these were asked was randomized for each respondent

 

 

 
T13. In general, do you believe:  

 

[The following options were rotated] 

feminists are seeking equality 

or 

feminists are seeking special treatment.

 

All

Male

Female

Seeking equality

54.4

50.0

58.8

Special treatment

31.7

35.1

28.5

Neither [volunteered]

2.9

2.8

2.9

Both [volunteered]

3.0

3.3

2.7

Not Sure

6.4

6.6

6.0

Refused

1.6

2.1

1.1

 

 
T14. Looking ahead to this holiday season, do you expect your spending for Christmas or holiday gifts to be higher than last year, lower than last year, or about the same?

Significantly or Somewhat?

 

 

All

Significantly higher

5.7

Somewhat higher

10.2

About the Same

56.7

Somewhat lower

14.6

Significantly lower

11.6

I do not purchase Christmas/ Holiday gifts [volunteered]

0.7

Not Sure

0.3

Refused

0.3

 


T15. How would you rate the condition of the
national economy these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad or very bad?

 

 

All

Very Good

4.6

Fairly Good

39.1

Fairly Bad

33.9

Very Bad

20.2

Not Sure

1.8

Refused

0.5

 


T16. Right now, do you think that economic conditions in the
country as a whole are getting better or getting worse?

 

 

All

Getting Better

51.8

Getting Worse

42.3

Not Sure

4.8

Refused

1.0

 


T17. How would you rate the condition of the
South Carolina economy these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad or very bad?

 

 

All

Very Good

5.3

Fairly Good

61.5

Fairly Bad

24.0

Very Bad

6.5

Not Sure

2.3

Refused

0.4

 


T18. Right now, do you think that economic conditions in the
South Carolina are getting better or getting worse?

 

 

All

Getting Better

67.6

Getting Worse

24.2

Not Sure

7.0

Refused

1.2

 


T19. How would you rate
your financial situation today? As excellent,
good, only fair, or poor?

 

 

All

Excellent

9.8

Good

45.0

Only Fair

31.6

Poor

12.4

Not Sure

0.1

Refused

1.1

 


T20. Right now, do you think that
your financial situation as a whole is
getting better or getting worse?

 

 

All

Getting Better

60.1

Getting Worse

29.0

Not Sure

9.3

Refused

1.6

 


T21. Do you think that women in South Carolina face a lot of discrimination, some discrimination, a little discrimination, or no discrimination at all?

 

 

All

Male

Female

A lot of discrimination

12.5

7.5

17.3

Some discrimination

47.9

48.4

47.3

A little discrimination

26.7

29.6

23.9

No discrimination

10.4

11.3

9.5

Not Sure

2.0

2.6

1.5

Refused

0.6

0.7

0.4

 


T22. Is the South Carolina State Government in touch with the needs of most women, or is it out of touch with the needs of most women? 

 

 

All

Male

Female

In touch with the needs of most women

37.1

40.0

34.3

Out of touch with the needs of most women

46.4

39.8

52.6

Not Sure

14.6

18.3

11.1

Refused

2.0

1.9

2.0

 


T23.  How about job opportunities for women in South Carolina – do you think they are, in general, better or worse than job opportunities for men with similar education and experience?

 

 

All

Male

Female

Better opportunities for women than men

22.5

30.3

15.2

Worse opportunities for women than men

54.7

43.0

65.6

Not Sure

18.7

21.5

16.1

Refused

4.1

5.1

3.2

 


T24. Do you think the South Carolina state government should pass laws requiring private companies to pay the same amount to men and women with the same job and experience while still allowing for different pay based on seniority or job performance?

 

 

All

Male

Female

Yes

76.8

74.2

79.0

No

19.4

22.0

17.0

Not Sure

2.5

1.9

3.1

Refused

1.3

1.9

0.9

 


T25  When it comes to poverty in South Carolina, in general would you say more men than women live in poverty, more women than men live in poverty, or the amount of men and women living in poverty is roughly equal?

 “a lot more or somewhat more?” 

 

 

All

Male

Female

A LOT More men than women live in poverty

3.7

5.7

1.8

SOMEWHAT More men than women live in poverty

9.5

10.8

8.2

Roughly equal

38.0

40.1

36.0

SOMEWHAT More women than men live in poverty

23.5

21.9

25.2

A LOT More women than men live in poverty

19.9

15.6

23.8

Not Sure

4.8

5.0

4.6

Refused

0.6

0.9

0.4

 


T26. In the area where you live, do you feel safe walking alone at night, or not?

 

 

All

Male

Female

Yes, I feel safe

73.0

84.0

62.6

No, I do NOT feel safe

25.8

15.5

35.4

Not Sure

1.0

0.2

1.8

Refused

0.2

0.2

0.2

 


T27. In your community, how often do you think violence occurs between adult members of the same household, sometimes referred to as domestic violence or abuse?  Very often, somewhat often, not very often, or hardly ever.

 

 

All

Male

Female

Very often

9.8

7.6

11.9

Somewhat often

29.8

25.8

33.6

Not very often

26.2

31.0

21.8

Hardly ever

29.6

29.8

29.5

Not Sure

4.1

5.0

3.3

Refused

0.5

0.9

0.0



T28.   Do you feel the South Carolina government currently does or does not do enough to combat domestic violence?

 

 

 

All

Male

Female

The government does enough

29.7

35.4

24.5

The government does NOT do enough

59.1

55.2

62.7

Not Sure

10.1

8.3

11.7

Refused

1.1

1.2

1.1

 


T29.  Some people feel that the South Carolina government should make every effort to improve the social and economic position of women.  Others think that making special efforts to improve the social and economic position of women is NOT the role of the state government? 

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing strong government effort and 1 representing no special government effort, how involved do you think the South Carolina government should be in improving the social and economic position of women?

 

 

Mean

Modal Score

% in Modal Score

All

6.25

10

18.1

Male

5.87

7

16.9

Female

6.61

10

20.5

 


T30.
On a completely different topic, do you feel that generations of slavery and discrimination do or do not make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class?

Do you feel that way Strongly or Somewhat?

 

All

White

Black

Strongly DO make it difficult

25.0

14.7

54.1

Somewhat DO make it difficult

20.0

18.6

23.4

Somewhat do NOT make it difficult

15.0

17.7

8.6

Strongly do NOT make it difficult

35.3

44.0

10.4

Don't Know/ Not Sure

3.7

4.2

2.7

Refused

0.9

0.8

0.9

 


T31.  Sea-level rise is an issue that some coastal South Carolina communities have been discussing recently.  Sea-level rise refers to increases in the average height of water related to the land.  Regardless of the cause, do you think that sea-level rise IS, or WILL be, happening …. or is NOT, and will NOT, be happening along South Carolina’s coastline? 

Would you say you feel VERY sure or SOMEWHAT sure of that?

 

All

Coastal Counties

Non-coastal Counties

Very sure sea-level rise IS/WILL be happening

31.2

42.7

29.3

Somewhat sure sea-level rise IS/WILL be happening

26.1

25.3

26.1

Somewhat sure sea-level rise is NOT/will NOT be happening

13.2

12.0

13.3

Very sure sea-level rise NOT/will NOT be happening

8.0

7.3

8.0

Don't Know/ Not Sure

18.9

12.7

20.3

Refused

2.6

0.0

3.0

     NOTE: “Coastal Counties” are defined as Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, or Jasper counties

 

T32.  When do you think the effects of sea-level rise will harm people and property in South Carolina?

Would you say the effects are significant now, the effects will happen in 10 years, in 25 years, in 50 years, in 100 years, the effects of sea-level rise will never harm people and property in South Carolina, or do you not believe sea-level rise is happening.

 

All

Coastal Counties

Non-coastal Counties

Effects are significant now

8.7

7.9

8.8

10 years

18.7

19.1

18.8

25 years

18.9

23.7

18.1

50 years

12.6

15.8

11.7

100 years

8.7

5.3

9.5

Never

2.2

0.6

2.3

I don't believe sea level rise is happening

13.2

14.5

13.1

Not Sure

13.9

12.5

14.2

Refused

3.0

0.6

3.4

     NOTE: “Coastal Counties” are defined as Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, or Jasper counties

 


T33  Do you
support or oppose state and local governments taking action to make South Carolina coastal communities better prepared for sea-level rise and its impacts on coastal processes, such as erosion and storm surge?

 Do you feel that way Strongly or Somewhat?

 

All

Coastal Counties

Non-coastal Counties

Strongly support

45.6

43.9

46.2

Somewhat support

27.7

27.0

27.9

Neither support nor oppose [volunteered]

1.4

2.7

1.0

Somewhat oppose

7.4

9.5

6.7

Strongly oppose

8.7

10.1

8.5

Don't know/ Not sure

6.8

6.1

7.0

Refused

2.4

0.7

2.7

     NOTE: “Coastal Counties” are defined as Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, or Jasper counties

 

T34. In general, would you say you approve or disapprove of the Tea Party movement or are you not familiar enough with the Tea Party movement to have an opinion?

 

 

All

Republicans (and Independents who Lean Republican)

Approve

22.9

43.3

Disapprove

31.3

17.4

Not Sure

44.7

38.4

Refused

1.1

0.9

 

 
T35. Would you consider yourself a MEMBER of the Tea Party Movement?

 

 

All

Republicans (and Independents who Lean Republican)

Yes

6.3

12.8

No

90.6

83.4

Not Sure

2.7

3.4

Refused

0.4

0.4


T36. Partisanship

Party

All

Republican (including Leaners)

42.9

Independent (but does NOT lean toward EITHER party)

16.9

Democrat (including Leaners)

32.8

Something Else

4.0

Refused/Don’t Know

3.4

Note: While Republicans had a significant turnout advantage in the gubernatorial election (Haley beat Sheheen by 14.48 points), the GOP advantage appears to extend to the entire population (which includes voters and non-voters alike).  In the wake of defeats nationwide, the percent of Democratic identifiers in the state rests at least 10 points below Republican identifiers.

T37. Ideology

Ideology

All

All

Very Conservative

22.4

 

53.0

Somewhat Conservative

22.4

Moderate – Leans Conservative

8.2

Moderate—but does NOT lean toward EITHER

16.7

16.7

Moderate—Leans Liberal

7.7

 

27.1

Somewhat Liberal

11.7

Very Liberal

7.7

Refused/Don’t Know

3.1

3.1

Note: The conservative ideological advantage over liberals is even greater than the Republican advantage over Democrats.  This appears to confirm anecdotal evidence that South Carolina remains a culturally conservative state.  Some of this is driven by African Americans.  Even though only 6.7% of African Americans identify as GOP or GOP Leaning, 30.5% of African Americans identify as Conservative or Conservative Leaning and African Americans are more likely than Whites to attend church once a week or more and say that religion is “Very Important” in their lives.

 

T38. Now I'm going to read you the names of several public figures and groups or symbols. I'd like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don't know the name, please just say so. 

…the Confederate Flag

 

All

Whites

Blacks

Very Positive

15.5

19.8

3.5

Some What Positive

15.0

16.8

9.3

Neutral

31.3

35.4

21.6

Somewhat Negative

13.5

13.5

14.1

Very Negative

21.6

12.6

45.4

Not Sure

1.9

1.3

3.5

Refused

1.2

0.5

2.6

 

T39.  From the year 1962 until the year 2000, the Confederate Flag flew above the dome over the South Carolina State House, where the South Carolina Legislature meets.  In the year 2000, it was taken down from the dome, but still flies on the State House grounds next to a monument to South Carolina’s Confederate dead.

Do you think the Confederate Flag should or should not continue to be flown on the grounds of the South Carolina State House?

 “Do you feel that way Strongly or Somewhat?” 

All

Whites

Blacks

Strongly feel it SHOULD continue to fly

42.4

53.3

14.5

Somewhat feel it SHOULD continue to fly

18.3

19.9

12.8

Have no feelings on the subject [VOLUNTEERED]

3.6

2.8

6.6

Somewhat feel it should NOT continue to fly

7.1

6.3

10.1

Strongly feel it should NOT continue to fly

25.7

15.6

51.1

Don't know/ Not sure

1.6

1.5

1.8

Refused

1.3

0.5

3.1

 

T40. Now I'm going to read you the names of several public figures and groups or symbols. I'd like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don't know the name, please just say so. 

…the Confederate Flag

 

All

18-24

25-44

45-64

65+

Very Positive

15.5

10.9

11.9

17.7

21.4

Some What Positive

15.0

11.8

12.3

15.8

20.2

Neutral

31.3

32.8

35.1

31.3

25.0

Somewhat Negative

13.5

10.9

15.7

13.2

12.5

Very Negative

21.6

29.4

22.8

19.4

17.9

Not Sure

1.9

2.5

1.1

1.6

2.4

Refused

1.2

1.7

1.1

1.0

0.6


T41.  From the year 1962 until the year 2000, the Confederate Flag flew above the dome over the South Carolina State House, where the South Carolina Legislature meets.  In the year 2000, it was taken down from the dome, but still flies on the State House grounds next to a monument to South Carolina’s Confederate dead.

Do you think the Confederate Flag should or should not continue to be flown on the grounds of the South Carolina State House?

 “Do you feel that way Strongly or Somewhat?” 

All

18-24

25-44

45-64

65+

Strongly feel it SHOULD continue to fly

42.4

32.8

40.3

43.0

52.4

Somewhat feel it SHOULD continue to fly

18.3

20.2

20.1

18.5

13.5

Have no feelings on the subject [VOLUNTEERED]

3.6

0.0

4.9

2.9

4.7

Somewhat feel it should NOT continue to fly

7.1

10.9

7.8

6.8

4.7

Strongly feel it should NOT continue to fly

25.7

32.8

25.0

25.2

21.8

Don't know/ Not sure

1.6

1.7

1.1

1.6

2.4

Refused

1.3

1.7

0.7

1.9

0.6


See full methodology page for more info.

###

Contact Information:
Judy Longshaw
803/323-2402 (office)
803/984-0586 (cell)

The Winthrop Poll is paid for by Winthrop University with additional support from The West Forum on Politics and Policy at Winthrop University.

For additional information, or to set up an interview with Dr. Scott Huffmon, please contact Judy Longshaw at longshawj@winthrop.edu or 803/323-2404.

Note: Winthrop University, located in Rock Hill, S.C., is a nationally recognized public university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees to an inclusive, international student body.
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