While Sen. Lindsey Graham continues to publicly flirt with a run for president, a new Winthrop Poll finds that six in 10 residents of his home state say he shouldn’t enter the race.
In the poll, 60 percent of all respondents said the state’s Republican senior senator should not run for president in 2016, including 65 percent of registered voters and 57 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents. Respondents expressed greater approval for Graham in his current position, with 46 percent of all respondents, 47 percent of registered voters, and 60 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents saying they approve of the way Graham is handling his job as a U.S. senator.
The Winthrop Poll, conducted by Winthrop University, covers a wide array of political issues and bases its findings on a phone survey of 1,109 South Carolina residents.
As the state legislature looks at overhauling domestic violence laws, three-quarters of those polled said the state legislature should pass a law to ensure full enforcement of a federal ban on gun ownership by people convicted of domestic violence.
Just over two-thirds of respondents said they support a proposal in the state legislature to allow the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to offer the HPV vaccine to female students starting in the seventh grade.
On another hot-button Statehouse topic, 55 percent of respondents said they would support increasing the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon to fund infrastructure, including repairing roads and bridges.
Despite a federal court order that required South Carolina to recognize same-sex marriages starting in November 2014, 53 percent of respondents said marriages between same-sex couples should not be recognized by the law as valid. The response was nearly identical to when the Winthrop Poll asked South Carolinians the same question in October 2013.
Respondents showed a bit more optimism about South Carolina’s prospects than the nation’s. Asked about “the current path that the state of South Carolina is taking,” 52 percent said the state is “on the right track,” compared to just 26 percent who said the United States is on the right track.
Asked for the most important problem facing the state and nation, the most common response for the state was education (18 percent) and the most common response for the nation was ISIS or terrorism (10 percent).
The Winthrop Poll is funded by Winthrop University with additional support from the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy at Winthrop. To see complete poll results, click here.