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Current Findings

Winthrop Poll April 2017 - General Population in SOUTH CAROLINA

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – President Donald Trump’s approval rating of 43% has remained steady in South Carolina for the past two months, according to the latest Winthrop Poll. His approval numbers in South Carolina continue to be a few points higher than his national average.

The 45th president has a disapproval rating of 47% among Palmetto State citizens. An earlier Winthrop Poll in February showed similar ratings.

Trump has strong support within his own party; the president has support from 79% of residents who identify GOP or lean Republican.  

Trump’s support is more than two and a quarter times higher than that of Congress. Only 19% of South Carolina residents approve of the way Congress is handling its job.

 

ECONOMY AND STATE GOVERNMENT

Nearly 60% of Winthrop Poll respondents said our country is headed in the wrong direction. Yet two thirds of South Carolina residents said our country’s economy is very good or fairly good.

More than half (54%) think South Carolina is moving in a positive direction, while 67% think the condition of the state’s economy is either very or fairly good. Nearly 54% described their own financial situation as good or excellent.

S.C. residents said the most important problem facing our country is politicians/government, followed by racism, jobs/unemployment, then immigration/refugees. Those surveyed said the most important issues facing the Palmetto State are roads/bridges/infrastructure, education, jobs or unemployment, and racism.

When asked if state services, including highway troopers, social workers, mental health experts, and schools, have kept pace with the growth of the Palmetto State, 62% of poll respondents said they somewhat or strongly felt that these services have not kept pace. Only 11% said that they strongly felt that  services have kept pace with growth.

 

SC GOVERNOR HENRY MCMASTER AND OTHERS

S.C. Governor Henry McMaster’s approval rating in South Carolina stands at 47%. However, his approval rating is 25 points higher than his disapproval rating, putting him very much “above water.” According to Huffmon, “the key for Governor McMaster are those 28% who have yet to form an opinion of his job performance. More than a quarter of South Carolinians are taking a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude in these early months of his administration, but, among those who express an opinion, it is more favorable than unfavorable.” McMaster has announced plans to run for governor next year. Elected as the lieutenant governor in 2014, McMaster took over as governor on Jan. 24 after Trump tapped S.C. Governor Nikki Haley to be the United Nations ambassador.  

The S.C. General Assembly got an approval nod from 47% of those polled while 38% disapprove of the job they’re doing.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s approval is nearly evenly split among all South Carolinians. He has a 45% approval rating and a 47% disapproval rating. His approval among Republicans, and those who lean Republican, stands at just under 50%. The state’s junior senator, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, is much more highly rated among the Republican base. He has a strong 82% approval rating among the GOP (including ‘Leaners’). Scott’s popularity among the general public remains high as well, with  60% reporting approval of the job he is doing.

South Carolinians have complex, and somewhat conflicting, views on equality of opportunity in our state. Fifty four percent say that they believe that all people in South Carolina have an equal chance to succeed if they work equally hard, yet, a plurality believe that people born into poverty are less likely to be in the middle class as an adult than someone who was born into the middle class if both persons put forth the same amount of effort in life. The implication of the latter finding is that those born into poverty must worker harder to end up in the middle class setting up a cognitive conflict with the former finding that most say equal work brings equal success.

South Carolina remains a faithful part of the Bible Belt. Forty seven percent of South Carolinians report attending worship services at least once a week compared to only 36% nationally, according to Pew. Additionally, nearly 70% report that religion is a ‘very important’ part of their life.

 

 

Demographics:

 

Census

April 2017 Winthrop Poll

Male

47.9412

48.9

Female

52.05879

50.8

Not Sure

N/A

0.3

 

 

 

18-19

4.0608

3.4

20-29

17.966

17.4

30-39

16.4846

16.5

40-49

17.9802

17.1

50-59

17.7694

17.7

60-69

13.9953

13.9

70-79

7.5244

7.6

80-89

3.5764

3.6

90-99

0.6247

0.6

over 100

0.0184

--

Refused

N/A

2.1

 

 

 

White

68.57

66.5

Black

26.5

25.8

Other

4.93

3.9

Refused

N/A

3.9

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

GOP (& Independents who Lean GOP)

Approve

43

79

Disapprove

47

11

Don’t Know

9

9

Refused

2

2

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

Approve

19

Disapprove

71

Don’t Know

8

Refused

2

 

 

T3  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Henry McMaster is handling his job as Governor of South Carolina?

 

All Respondents

GOP (& Independents who Lean GOP)

Approve

47

61

Disapprove

21

9

Don’t Know

28

26

Refused

4

4

            NOTE: Analysis of Gov. McMaster’s approval that focuses on it being below 50% is not an accurate representation of the data unless the disapproval numbers are taken into account. Although his approval is 47%, his approval numbers are 26 points higher than his disapproval numbers. The key number is the 28% who have not yet formed an opinion of his job performance.

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

Approve

47

Disapprove

38

Don’t Know

13

Refused

2

 

 

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

GOP (& Independents who Lean GOP)

Approve

45

49

Disapprove

47

45

Don’t Know

7

5

Refused

1

1

 

 

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

GOP (& Independents who Lean GOP)

Approve

60

82

Disapprove

27

7

Don’t Know

12

9

Refused

2

2

 

 

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?                                                                                     

 

All Respondents

Right Track                                                             

35

Wrong Direction

59

Don't Know/ Refused

6

 

 

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?

 

All Respondents

Right Track                                                

54

Wrong Direction

36

Don't Know/ Refused

10

 

 

T9  What do you think is the most important problem facing the United States of America today?

All Respondents

Politicians / Government
8.1%

Racism
7.5%

Jobs / Unemployment
6.7%

Immigration and/or Refugees
6.0%

 

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

All Respondents

Roads / Bridges / Infrastructure
18.7%

Education
12.1%

Jobs or Unemployment
10.1%

Racism
6.5%

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

Very good                                                         

5

Fairly good                                                         

61

Fairly bad                                                         

26

Very bad                                                         

8

Not sure                                                         

1

Refused

0

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

Getting Better                                                  

56

Getting Worse                                                  

35

Not Sure [volunteered]                                                  

7

Refused                                                  

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?

 

All Respondents

Very good                                                         

7

Fairly good                                                         

60

Fairly bad                                                         

27

Very bad                                                         

5

Not sure                                                         

2

Refused

0

 

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

Getting Better                                                  

61

Getting Worse                                                  

30

Not Sure [volunteered]                                                  

7

Refused                                                  

2

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

Excellent                                                                  

10

Good                                                                  

44

Only Fair                                                                  

32

Poor                                                                  

11

Not Sure                                                                  

1

Refused

1

 

 

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

 

All Respondents

Getting Better                                                  

66

Getting Worse                                                  

23

Not Sure [volunteered]                                                  

9

Refused                                                  

2

 

 

T17  Do you believe all people in South Carolina do or do not have an equal chance to succeed if they work equally hard?

 

All Respondents

Do                                                         

54

Do NOT                                                           

43

Not Sure [volunteered]                                                           

2

Refused                                                         

1

 

 

T18  Do you think a person who was born into poverty is more likely, less likely, or equally likely to be middle class as an adult than a person who was born into the middle class if both of them put forth the same amount of effort in life?

 

All Respondents

More likely to be in middle class                                              

17

Equally likely to be in middle class                                              

37

Less likely to be in middle class                                              

43

Not Sure [volunteered]                                              

3

Refused                                              

1

 

 

T19  Do you feel that state services -- including highway troopers, social workers, mental health experts, and schools – have or have not kept pace with the growth of the state of South Carolina and its population?

Do you feel that way Strongly or Somewhat?

 

All Respondents

Strongly have                                                    

11

Somewhat have                                                    

19

Somewhat have NOT                                                    

23

Strongly have NOT                                                    

39

Not sure                                                    

7

Refused

1

                                                                            

 

T20  Aside from weddings and funerals, how often do you attend religious services... more than once a week, once a week, once or twice a month, a few times a year, seldom, or never?

 

All Respondents

More than once a week                                                      

21

Once a week                                                      

26

Once or twice a month                                                      

15

Few times a year                                                      

14

Seldom                                                      

13

Never                                                      

10

Don't Know/ Refused

1

 

T21  How important would you say religion is in your own life: Very important, Fairly important, or Not very important?

 

All Respondents

Very Important                                           

69

Fairly Important                                           

16

Not Very Important                                           

14

Don't Know/ Refused

1

 

T22  Would you favor or oppose a proposal to make South Carolina community colleges and two-year technical colleges tuition free to South Carolina residents?

 

All Respondents

Favor                                                              

71

Oppose                                                              

26

Not sure                                                              

2

Refused                                                              

1

 

T23  Would you favor or oppose a proposal to allow the state of South Carolina to borrow as much as five hundred million dollars through revenue bonds to pay for repairs and maintenance projects at state-owned buildings and facilities that were deferred during the economic downturn?

 

All Respondents

Favor                                                              

46

Oppose                                                              

47

Not sure                                                              

6

Refused                                                              

2

 

 T24  Would you favor or oppose a proposal to require any organization that publicly campaigns for or against a South Carolina political candidate, or for or against a public policy, to publicly disclose their donors?

 

All Respondents

GOP & Leaners

Democrats & Leaners

Favor                                                              

71

71

71

Oppose                                                              

21

22

22

Not sure                                                              

6

5

6

Refused                                                              

2

3

2

 

T25  Which of the following comes closer to your beliefs about the South Carolina legislature?

[Options rotated]

Recent legislators who have been accused of political corruption represent “bad apples” and do not represent a broader culture that tolerates corruption.

Or

Recent legislators who have been accused of political corruption reflect a broader culture in the legislature that tolerates corruption.

 

All Respondents

GOP & Leaners

Democrats & Leaners

Bad Apples                                               

43

47

40

Culture that tolerates corruption                                               

45

42

47

Not Sure                                               

7

7

7

Refused                                               

5

4

5

 

 


 

For methodological questions please read the full Methodology Statement

 

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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