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Results of First Winthrop-ETV Poll Are Available

Quick Facts

 The results of the first Winthrop/ETV Poll will be released May 31 on ETV'S "The Big Picture."
 The poll was conducted among more than 670 randomly selected S.C. registered voters.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The results of the first Winthrop/ETV Poll, conducted between May 16 and May 27, 2007, on the heels of one national Democratic presidential candidates' debate and two national Republican presidential candidates' debates, are in.

The results will be released exclusively during the May 31st Web stream of South Carolina ETV's "The Big Picture" show at 6 p.m. ETV is the public television and radio network in South Carolina.

The Winthrop/ETV Poll was conducted among 670 randomly selected registered voters in South Carolina, and has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.79 percent. As is true with all survey data, reported results that use only a subset of the data will have a slightly higher margin of error.

This is the first in a series of four surveys of South Carolinians that will be conducted over the next year by Winthrop University's Social and Behavioral Research Lab in partnership with ETV.

Commenting on the results, Dr. Scott Huffmon, director of both the lab and the Winthrop/ETV Poll initiative, said, "While there still is a lot of racetrack left, this poll shows that the frontrunners are solidly distancing themselves from the pack. However, all the candidates should take note of the large number of undecided voters."

Among the Winthrop/ETV Poll findings:

The top three Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, account for over 60 percent of the preferences for self-identified Democrats. And with backing from nearly 30 percent of Democratic respondents, Clinton has almost as much support as Obama and Edwards combined. Just over 30 percent of Democratic respondents were still undecided.

A swing of only a few percentage points could change the dynamics of the Republican contest among Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Almost 40 percent of self-identified Republicans say that they agree, or strongly agree, that Fred Thompson should officially enter the presidential race.

Despite differences with President Bush on issues such as the interrogation of terror suspects, 45 percent of South Carolinians feel that John McCain's recent support for Bush's policies in Iraq have hurt his bid for the presidency. However, there is a dramatic split on this issueby party, with over one-fifth of Republicans saying McCain's recent support for the president's policies in Iraq has actually helped his candidacy.

Among the additional findings:

Iraq still dominates, no matter what the party affiliation, as the issue the public would most like the candidates to address.

John Edwards' South Carolina roots provide a marginal boost, at best, in terms of voters' willingness to support him as a candidate.

Over 45 percent of all South Carolinians feel Bill Clinton would not make a good "First Husband." But this is another issue where there is a dramatic split among party lines, with over 80 percent of Democrats agreeing,or strongly agreeing, that he would, and only 16.2 percent of Republicans concurring.

The issue of abortion remains complex for South Carolinians. While 48.6 percent of all South Carolinians describe themselves as pro-life, 83.5 percent believe a woman should be able to attain a legal abortion in certain circumstances. To see Winthrop Poll results from the fall and spring, visit this site.

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