Winthrop University Home Page
ABOUTADMISSIONS & AIDACADEMICSSTUDENT AFFAIRSATHLETICSGIVING
Menu Header
03/04/2015

Winthrop Poll: S.C. Residents Give Opinions on Leaders, Gas Tax and Other Issues

Quick Facts

 The Winthrop Poll surveyed 1,109 residents in South Carolina by landline and cell phones between Feb. 21 and March 1.
 News in the Middle East is an area of concern. ISIS or terrorism in general is the most important problem they said for the country, followed by politicians/government and the economy/financial crisis. In South Carolina, the most important problem is education, followed by jobs/unemployment and the economy/financial crisis.

/uploadedImages/news/Articles/Huffmon,-Scott.jpg?n=5704
Scott Huffmon

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Six in ten South Carolinians, including nearly two-thirds of registered voters, say U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham should not run for president, according to Winthrop Poll respondents.

The senior senator from S.C. is exploring a White House run in 2016. His approval rating stands at 45.5% among all poll respondents, 46.5% among registered voters and 60.3% among GOP and leaners, according to calls made last week.

The Winthrop Poll surveyed 1,109 residents in South Carolina by landline and cell phones between Feb. 21 and March 1. Of those interviewed, 44.5% were reached via cell phone. The poll has a margin of error of approximately +/- 3% at the 95% confidence level, according to Poll Director Scott Huffmon

View the questions and responses.

When asked about the attention the Palmetto State receives from its first-in-the-South primaries leading up to the presidential election, respondents said they liked it. Quizzed about whether the primaries have a positive or negative effect concerning economic impact and national media attention, around 70% of respondents said it was somewhat or very positive.

GUN OWNERSHIP AND GAS TAX OPINIONS

This spring, legislators are debating bills that toughen South Carolina's domestic violence laws, creating a tiered system of offenses, increasing penalties and barring batterers from possessing guns. The state – one of the deadliest in the country for women - currently ranks second in the nation for the rate of women killed by men.

Winthrop Poll callers told respondents that federal law forbids those convicted of criminal domestic violence from owning guns. However there is not consistent enforcement across all states. When asked if legislators should pass a law to ensure full enforcement of the federal law here in South Carolina, three-fourths of respondents said yes.

On another piece of S.C. legislation, respondents were asked if they would be willing to pay 10 cents a gallon more for gas so the money raised would be used for infrastructure, such as repairing roads and bridges. This would increase the cost of gas in S.C., but it would still remain lower than in Georgia and North Carolina. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they would support this proposal.

ECONOMY

The direction of the nation still has many concerned. More than two-thirds of South Carolina residents said our nation is headed in the wrong direction.

They are more positive about the Palmetto State’s path, with 52% saying the state’s current direction is good. They see the national economy as getting better (51.2%) and South Carolina’s economy getting better (63.3%).

News in the Middle East is another area of concern. ISIS or terrorism in general is the most important problem they said for the country, followed by politicians/government and the economy/financial crisis. In South Carolina, the most important problem is education, followed by jobs/unemployment and the economy/financial crisis.

Regarding their own financial situation, 55.7% of respondents rate their household’s experience as either good or excellent, and a majority said it is getting better.

HEALTH AND MARRIAGE

There is currently a proposal before the General Assembly to allow the health department to offer the HPV vaccine to female students entering the seventh grade. The Department of Health and Environmental Control would also develop a brochure, which could be handed out at schools, to explain the link between HPV and cervical cancer. The legislation does NOT require girls to get the vaccine in order to attend school. A little more than two-thirds of the respondents said they would support the proposal.

More than half of respondents (52.7%) said they think marriages between same-sex couples should not be recognized by the law as valid. The percent of all respondents who feel same-sex marriages should be valid – 42.8% – is nearly identical to the percent in South Carolina who felt same-sex marriages should be valid in 2013 when accounting for the margin of error for both polls. An October 2013 Winthrop Poll of the general population found that 38.5% felt same-sex marriages should be valid and 52.2% felt that same-sex marriages should not be valid.

POLITICAL LEADERS

President Barack Obama’s approval rating in South Carolina continues to remain low at around 40% and lags behind national approval for Obama which is around 50%.

Meanwhile, Congress’ approval rating also remains low at 14.9%, a figure that is a little lower than the national opinion of Congress.

Approval ratings of leaders in South Carolina:

• Governor Nikki Haley - 53.2% among S.C. residents, 56.2% among registered voters, 78.4% among GOP and leaners.
• S.C. State Legislature - 41% among S.C. residents and 41.9% among registered voters.
• U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. - 53.6% among S.C. residents, 57.5% among registered voters and 71% among GOP and leaners.

Tea Party membership is claimed by only 7.1% of those surveyed and 11.4% of GOP and leaners. Only 22.1% of respondents and 38.8% of GOP and leaners respondents approve of the movement. Nearly half are either unsure or don't feel that they have enough information to form an opinion.

POLL FUNDING, METHODOLOGY AND CONTACT INFORMATION

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

View more information about the poll methodology.

For additional information, or to set up an interview with Poll Director Scott Huffmon, please contact Judy Longshaw at longshawj@winthrop.edu or 803/323-2404 (office) or 803/984-0586 (cell).


[Back to Previous Page]


IN THE HEART OF THE CAROLINAS
© Winthrop University · 701 Oakland Avenue · Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA · 803/323-2211