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04/17/2013

Results of the April Winthrop Poll Show Approval Ratings for Congress Falls

Quick Facts

 Approval ratings for most politicians dropped in April from the February Winthrop Poll, with the exception of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.
 Only 14.9 percent of all respondents and only 11.1 percent of registered S.C. voters approve of the way Congress is doing its job.

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Scott Huffmon
APPROVAL RATINGS FOR CONGRESS CONTINUE TO FALL; CLOSE TO SINGLE DIGITS AMONG REGISTERED SC VOTERS

SC GOV. HALEY’S APPROVAL NUMBERS FOR JOB PERFORMANCE CLIMB SINCE DECEMBER WINTHROP POLL

PRES. OBAMA’S APPROVAL RATINGS BY SC RESIDENTS DROP, MORE DISAPPROVE THAN APPROVE

MORE THAN HALF FEEL FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN FROM BUYING CERTAIN UNHEALTHY ITEMS

TEA PARTY MOVEMENT LOST ITS MOMENTUM

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM’S APPROVAL DIPS SLIGHTLY AS TALK OF PRIMARY CHALLENGERS HEATS UP

MORE THAN HALF THINK THAT ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN SC ARE GETTING BETTER AND ALMOST HALF THINK CONDITIONS GETTING BETTER ACROSS THE COUNTRY

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The April 2013 Winthrop Poll interviewed 1069 adults living in South Carolina. The survey was in the field from April 6-14, 2013.

After weights (for sex, age, and race) have been applied, results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/- 3% at the 95% confidence level. Results that use less than the full sample will naturally have a higher margin of error. For results using only Registered voters, n=832, margin of error of approximately +/- 3.5% at the 95% confidence level. For questions and additional information on methodology, see here.

Among the Winthrop Poll findings:

• Approval ratings for most politicians dropped in April from the February Winthrop Poll, with the exception of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. Since the last Winthrop Poll, the sequestration, or budget cuts to federal spending which began on March 1, have taken place to instill austerity in the nation’s fiscal policy. More than five months after Barack Obama won a second term as president, 43.4 percent of all South Carolinians polled approve of the job he is doing, compared to 46.5 percent who disapprove. Previous polls can be found at: http://www.winthrop.edu/winthroppoll/default.aspx?id=9805

• Only 14.9 percent of all respondents and only 11.1 percent of registered S.C. voters approve of the way Congress is doing its job. Regarding the S.C. General Assembly, 37.9 percent of S.C. residents approved and 35.8 percent disapproved.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley picked up more support among Republicans and those leaning to the GOP from the February poll. That number ticked up from 66.8 percent to 69 percent. For all S.C. residents, the number climbed 1 percent to 43.5 percent.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is up for re-election in 2014, received a 44 percent approval rating among S.C. registered voters but his approval rating has dropped from 71.6 percent to 57.5 percent among Republicans and those independents who lean toward the GOP compared to the February poll. This drop corresponds to the entry of two vocal challengers, and discussion of a third, into the primary race against him. Meanwhile, S.C.’s junior senator, the newly appointed Tim Scott, a congressman from Charleston, S.C., has a 39.7 percent approval rating among registered voters; this is more than 18 points higher than the percent who disapprove of his performance. Nearly 40 percent still aren’t sure about his handling of his new job.

• Half of Republicans and leaning GOP respondents reported that they feel strongly that food stamp recipients should be forbidden from buying unhealthy food items, while only 1/3 of Democrats feel the same way.

Tea Party membership continues to lose its momentum. Only ¼ of respondents approve of the Tea Party movement. Overall, only about 3.7 percent of all registered voters consider themselves members of the movement, which is half of what was reported just a few months ago.

• Fewer respondents think country is on the right track (29%) compared with those who say it is headed in the wrong direction (60.3%). And 34.8 percent said the economic conditions for the country are fairly bad, while another third said conditions are fairly good.

• As for the economy of South Carolina, about half of respondents said the economy is fairly good and 56.7 percent said they are getting better. Half said their own financial situation was either excellent or good, and more than half said it was improving.

• The most important problems facing the U.S. respondents said are, in order: the economy, jobs or employment, budget deficit or debt and politicians/government. The most important problems facing the Palmetto State are: jobs or unemployment, education, economy/economic-financial crisis and politicians/government.

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