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Current Findings

April 2014 Winthrop Poll

For methodological questions please read the full Methodology Statement

April 2014 Winthrop Poll
 

April 2014 Winthrop Poll of Adults Living in South Carolina

Almost 50% of Registered Voters Approve of How Gov. Nikki Haley is Doing Her Job

43% Approve of How U.S. Sen. Tim Scott is Doing His Job, While Only 18% Disapprove

And Nearly 40% Give a Thumbs-Up to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham With Approval and Disapproval More Closely Divided

Meanwhile, More Than 50% of All Respondents Disapprove of Pres. Barack Obama's Job Performance

And Almost 40% of South Carolina Retirees Say They Don’t Have Enough Money to Live as Comfortably as They Hoped

And Nearly 18% of All Those Polled Have a Parent, Sibling or Spouse with Alzheimer’s or Dementia of Some Kind


ROCK HILL, S.C. - The results of the April 2014 Winthrop Poll of 877 adults living in South Carolina are in. The survey was in the field from April 6-13, 2014. After weights (for sex, age, and race) have been applied, results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.3% at the 95% confidence level. Results that use less than the full sample will naturally have a higher margin of error.

Since the last Winthrop Poll of the general population—with breakouts of registered voters—took place in Oct. 2013, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s approval rating among all respondents has gone up 3.1%, within the margin of error—(42.8% now, 39.7% in Oct. 2013). Meanwhile, his approval rating among registered voters during the same period ticked up 2.2%--again within the margin of error (39.6% now, 37.4% in Oct 2013.).

And while Graham’s disapproval rating among registered voters is higher than his approval rating with the same group (43.8% disapproval vs. 39.6% approval), Poll Director Scott Huffmon cautioned that the difference between the two is just at the margin of error for the registered voter sample.

At the same time, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, facing his first election for the Senate, received an approval rating among all those polled of 43.1%. Huffmon noted in the context of his disapproval and ‘no opinion’ numbers, the 43.1% figure should not be regarded as being low, since his approval among all respondents is 25.5 percentage points above his disapproval number. Huffmon said that the most interesting factor is that more than one-third of respondents still do not know enough about Sen. Scott to form an opinion even as he prepares for an election.


Other Winthrop Poll findings include:

*President Barack Obama’s job approval remains low among South Carolinians as he posted a 37.8% approval rating in the latest poll— while lower than his approval numbers from the general population poll in October 2013, the almost 3 percentage point drop is within the margin of error.

*Among registered voters surveyed, Gov. Nikki Haley’s approval rating is almost 10 percentage points higher than her disapproval rating (49.3% vs. 39.6%). Among all those surveyed, her approval rating is almost 15 percentage points higher than her disapproval rating (49.8% vs. 35.0%).

*When asked what the most important problem facing the U.S. today is, the economy/economic-financial crisis was the #1 response. Despite the fact that news reports are asking whether another Cold War is imminent based on what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine, only 0.5% identified them as the most important problem facing the U.S.

*Education and jobs/unemployment switched first and second positions in the last six months when it comes to what respondents identified as the most important problem facing South Carolina. While education received the most responses in the current poll (18.5 % now compared with 14.5% in October 2013), in the fall it was jobs or unemployment that was most frequently mentioned (17.5% now compared with 19.6% in Oct. 2013).

*42.3% of all respondents strongly, or somewhat strongly, felt that generations of slavery and discrimination make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class. However 52.2% of all respondents strongly, or somewhat strongly, do not feel that this is the case.

*62.1% of all those polled felt positive, or somewhat positive, when asked about BMW. The company recently announced that it plans on investing $1 billion to expand its operation in the Upstate, with the expectation that this will bring 800 additional jobs to the state by 2016.

*Boeing also garnered impressive numbers. When asked their feelings towards Boeing, almost 60% said they had either very positive—or somewhat positive--reaction to the company.

*When those polled were asked if they currently had a parent, sibling or spouse suffering from Alzheimer’s, or some other form of dementia, 17.9% said yes. Of those, almost three-quarters reside in South Carolina.

*Twenty states and D.C. now permit the use of marijuana for medical reasons. When South Carolinians were asked if they thought doctors should be allowed to prescribe actual marijuana for medical purposes to treat their patients, 71.6% of all those polled said they should, while registered voters responded yes 66.7% of the time.  However, nearly 6 in 10 oppose the legalization of marijuana for personal use.

*Among retirees polled, almost 40% of all respondents said they did not have enough retirement savings or pension, when combined with other retirement income, to live as comfortably as they had hoped.

*Among those polled who have not yet retired, over one-third (33.9%) said they, or their spouse, were not currently putting money into a specific account dedicated to their retirement.

*Over 90% of all respondents said they did not consider themselves to be members of the Tea Party movement. 90.7% of registered voters said the same. (Please see interpretative note under Question T-29 for important context).

This Winthrop Poll, which is partially underwritten by the John C. West Forum at Winthrop, contains a significant number of social questions. For additional information on methodology, see this link: Methodology

For more information or to set up an interview with Poll Director Scott Huffmon, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

Demographics:

General Adult Population

Census

April 2014 Winthrop Poll

Male

47.9412

48.5

Female

52.05879

51.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

18-19

4.0608

4.1

20-29

17.966

17.1

30-39

16.4846

16.2

40-49

17.9802

17.7

50-59

17.7694

17.5

60-69

13.9953

13.9

70-79

7.5244

7.5

80-89

3.5764

3.5

90-99

0.6247

0.6

over 100

0.0184

--

Refused

--

1.9

 

 

 

White

68.57

67.4

Black

26.5

24.9

Other

4.93

5.3

Refused

--

2.4

     

Registered 
Voters

SCVotes.org as of Apr 14, 2014

April 2014 Winthrop Poll

Male

44.99077

44.6

Female

55.0053

55.4

Unknown/Could not determine

0.003929

--

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

68.80284

67.2

Non-white

31.19716

30.2

Refused

 

2.7

 

 

 

18-24

3.936082

4.0

25-44

37.68886

37.3

45-64

35.91571

34.8

65+

22.42003

21.5

Refused

--

2.4

 

NOTES: Margin of Error for All Respondents is +/- 3.3% Margin of Error for Registered Voters is +/- 4.1% - totals may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

T1  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President of the United States?

 

All Respondents

April 13, 2014 Gallup Poll of United States

Approve

37.8

44

Disapprove

52.7

50

Don’t Know

8.1

[not reported]

Refused

1.4

[not reported]


T2  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

 

All Respondents

Registered Voters

Approve

13.9

12.0

Disapprove

77.5

82.1

Don’t Know

7.8

4.9

Refused

0.8

1.0


 T3  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Nikki Haley is handling her job as Governor of South Carolina?

 

All Respondents

Registered Voters

Approve

49.8

49.3

Disapprove

35.0

39.6

Don’t Know

13.3

9.3

Refused

1.9

1.8


T4  Do you approve or disapprove of the way the South Carolina State Legislature is handling its job?

 

All Respondents

Registered Voters

Approve

41.7

38.9

Disapprove

34.4

38.4

Don’t Know

22.3

21.1

Refused

1.6

1.7


T5  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Lindsey Graham is handling his job as a United States Senator for South Carolina?

 

All Respondents

Registered Voters

Approve

42.8

39.6

Disapprove

38.9

43.8

Don’t Know

17.1

14.8

Refused

1.2

1.7


T6  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Scott is handling his job as a United States Senator for South Carolina?

 

All Respondents

Registered Voters

Approve

43.1

43.1

Disapprove

17.6

20.8

Don’t Know

36.9

33.5

Refused

2.4

2.6

[Interpretation note: 43.1% is not low when put in the context that Scott’s approval among all respondents is 25.5 percentage points above his disapproval.  The only real interesting factor is that more than a third of respondents still don’t know enough about Sen. Scott to form an opinion even as he readies to run for his first Senate election.]


T7  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?

Right Track

26.7

Wrong Direction

65.4

Not sure/Refused

7.9


T8  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?

Right Track

49.4

Wrong Direction

36.6

Not sure/Refused

14.0


 T9  What do you think is the most important problem facing the United States of America today? [Top 4 issues]

 

Economy/Economic-financial crisis

 

13.0

 

Jobs or Unemployment

 

9.6

 

Budget deficit or debt

 

7.9

 

Politicians/Government

 

7.4

NOTE: only 0.5% said “Ukraine” or “Russia” as the most important problem facing the country


T10  What do you think is the most important problem facing the state of South Carolina today?

 

Education

 

18.5

 

Jobs or Unemployment

 

17.5

 

Economy/Economic-financial crisis

 

9.0

 

Politicians/Government

 

5.0

 

T11  How would you rate the condition of the national economy these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad or very bad?

Very Good

3.1

Fairly Good

34.7

Fairly Bad

38.8

Very Bad

21.2

Not Sure

2.0

Refused

0.2


 T12  Right now, do you think that economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better or getting worse?

Getting Better

45.5

Getting Worse

48.2

Not Sure

6.2

Refused

0.1


 T13  How would you rate the condition of the economy of South Carolina these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

Very Good

4.5

Fairly Good

54.4

Fairly Bad

28.1

Very Bad

8.7

Not Sure

4.2

Refused

0.1


 T14  Right now, do you think that economic conditions in South Carolina are getting better or getting worse?

Getting Better

57.6

Getting Worse

30.7

Not Sure

10.8

Refused

0.9

 

T15  How would you rate your financial situation today? As excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

Excellent

7.3

Good

43.9

Only Fair

33.9

Poor

13.1

Not Sure

0.5

Refused

1.4


 T16  Right now, do you think that your financial situation as a whole is getting better or getting worse?

Getting Better

60.5

Getting Worse

26.4

Not Sure

11.7

Refused

1.4


  T17  Now I'm going to read you the names of several public figures and groups. 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 [NOTE: these were read in random order]

 

Very Positive

Somewhat Positive

Neutral

Somewhat Negative

Very Negative

Not sure (or don’t know name)

Refused

Barack Obama

20.1

19.5

11.3

16.0

31.5

1.2

0.4

John Boehner

4.6

15.6

20.0

13.0

16.0

29.6

1.2

The National Republican Party

6.8

26.6

21.0

18.4

20.0

6.4

0.7

The SC Republican Party

7.7

29.2

22.9

14.9

16.6

7.8

1.0

The Boeing Aviation Company

30.9

28.6

16.3

2.9

2.0

18.8

0.6

Jim DeMint

13.8

19.8

22.5

9.4

9.9

23.3

1.3

The BMW Car Manufacturer

37.9

24.2

17.9

4.1

2.7

12.6

0.5

The SC Democratic Party

8.5

23.2

25.4

20.5

14.5

7.4

0.5

The National Democratic Party

9.3

23.9

19.7

19.4

21.2

5.8

0.7

 
 

 T18  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?

Strongly DO make it difficult

26.4

Somewhat DO make it difficult

15.9

Somewhat do NOT make it difficult

14.8

Strongly do NOT make it difficult

37.4

Don’t Know/ Not Sure

4.5

Refused

0.9

 

T19  Do you currently have a parentsibling, or spouse who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia?

Yes

17.9

No

81.4

Not Sure

0.6

Refused

0.1



T20  
Does this person live in South Carolina? [NOTE; this was only asked of those who had parentsibling, or spouse who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia.]

Yes

73.6

No

26.4

Not Sure

--

Refused

--


 T21  Do you currently care for, or give financial support for the care of, any family member who is in poor or declining health due to age related physical or mental issues?

Yes

26.0

No

73.7

Not Sure

--

Refused

0.3

 

T22  Cannabidiol is an oil derived from marijuana that has no, or virtually no, THC …. which is the chemical in marijuana that gives the user a “high.”  The South Carolina legislature is considering a bill that would legalize the use of Cannabidiol when prescribed by a doctor

[The following statements were rotated]]

Some say Cannabidiol should be made legal because it does not get users high and can relieve symptoms of seizure disorders in adults and children

while

Some say Cannabidiol should NOT be made legal because it may open the door to the legalization of illicit drugs

How about you?  Do you think Cannabidiol should or should NOT be made legal in South Carolina?

 

All

Registered Voters

SHOULD be made legal

73.4

70.7

Should NOT be made legal

20.4

22.5

Not Sure [volunteered]

4.6

5.3

Refused

1.5

1.5

T23  Do you think doctors should or should not be allowed to prescribe actual marijuana for medical purposes to treat their patients?

 

All

Registered Voters

Should

71.6

66.7

Should NOT

23.2

27.2

Not Sure [volunteered]

4.1

5.0

Refused

1.1

1.1

 

T24  Do you think marijuana should or should not be made legal for personal use?

 

All

Registered Voters

Should

37.4

33.4

Should NOT

57.7

61.9

Not Sure [volunteered]

4.0

4.0

Refused

0.9

0.8

 

T25  Do you have enough retirement savings or pension, when combined with other retirement income such as Social Security, to live as comfortably in retirement as you had hoped to? [NOTE: This question was only asked of retirees]

Yes

56.4

No

39.4

Refused

4.2


T26  Are you or a spouse currently putting money into a savings, investment, or pension account that is specifically dedicated to your retirement? [NOTE: This question was only asked of those who were NOT retired.]

Yes

65.2

No

33.9

Not sure

0.6

Refused

0.3

 

T27  I’d like to ask whether you feel you will or will not have enough money to live comfortably when you DO retire.  Would you say that you Feel CERTAIN you will have enough money, Feel that you will PROBABLY have enough money, Feel you MAY or MAY NOT have enough money, Feel that you PROBABLY WILL NOT have enough money, or Feel CERTAIN you WILL NOT have enough money to live comfortably when you retire? ? [NOTE: This question was only asked of those who were NOT retired.]

Certain have enough money

19.3

Probably have enough money

27.1

May or May Not

27.1

Probably NOT have enough

13.7

Certain NOT have enough

10.8

Refused

2.0


 T28  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

Registered Voters

Approve

23.6

26.2

Disapprove

29.3

32.3

Not Sure/Not familiar enough to have opinion

45.5

39.2

Refused

1.5

2.3


T29  Would you consider yourself a MEMBER of the Tea Party Movement?

 

All

Registered Voters

Yes

4.6

5.6

No

90.5

90.7

Not Sure

4.0

2.4

Refused

0.9

1.3

[Interpretation note: Before you consider the Tea Party membership numbers small, please consider that 5.6% of registered voters translates to 158,223 people who consider themselves MEMBERS of the Tea Party.  That is not an insignificant number.]

 

T30

Breakdown of Support for Sen. Lindsey Graham Among SC Adults by Sex, Race (white/black only), Ideology, and Partisanship
(Note: “leaners” are counted as ‘Independent’ here)

 

Male

Female

White

Black

Liberal

Conservative

Moderate

GOP

Dem

Ind

Approve

42.3

43.3

46.9

35.8

24.9

47.4

51.3

54.6

30.6

44.2

Disapprove

43.2

34.9

35.7

47.2

57.4

36.6

32.7

29.7

52.3

36.5

Not Sure

12.8

21.1

16.6

14.6

17.2

15.0

14.8

14.4

16.2

18.4

Refused

1.7

0.7

0.9

2.4

0.6

1.1

1.1

1.3

0.9

0.9

 

 

 

 

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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