Winthrop poll suggests Trump has slight lead in SC - | WBTV Charlotte

Winthrop poll suggests Trump has slight lead in SC

(WBTV/File) (WBTV/File)
(WBTV/File) (WBTV/File)

Results from a new poll released by Winthrop University Thursday suggest that Donald Trump’s lead in South Carolina may not be as strong as Republican candidates in previous presidential elections.

According to the Winthrop Poll, 42% of likely voters in South Carolina prefer Trump, compared to 38% who said they prefer Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“In a generic Republican versus a generic Democrat race, you would expect a Republican to be up by ten points, and Trump’s only got a lead of four right now,” said Dr. Scott Huffmon, director of the Winthrop Poll.

Poll workers from Winthrop made live calls to South Carolinians, allowing them to reach voters on cell phones, something not allowed by robo callers.

“If you can’t call cell phones, you are leaving out an entire segment of the population and a poll is only as good as its sample,” said Huffmon.

The poll also found that the majority of voters in the Palmetto State did not view Trump or Clinton as favorable or honest. That wasn’t a surprise to some voters who talked to WBTV Thursday.

“A lot of people, my friends that I talk to, they don’t know who to vote for you know. They don’t want either candidate,” said James Nies.

Polling was done before Monday’s Presidential Debate. Some believed voters may have a different opinion after watching.

“I think there was a lot of things in the debate that should sway people,” said Winslow Shock.

Huffmon doesn’t think there are too many voters left to sway; poll results found that 7% of voters are undecided. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is preferred by 6% of likely voters in South Carolina compared to Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who is preferred by 3%, according to the poll.

Huffmon has previously stressed not to pay too much attention to results from one single poll, but believes results from the Winthrop Poll mimic trends found in other recent polls.

According to results, 53% of people polled said they believed Clinton was a “capable” candidate. Only 46% said the term accurately described Trump.

While results from the Winthrop Poll are specific to South Carolina voters, Huffmon said he believes North Carolina is going to be a true battleground state.

He said recent controversial topics like House Bill 2, and protests in Charlotte stemming from the police shooting of Keith Scott may have an impact come November.

“All of these things that are considered local or state politics, are going to kind of serve to either excite, or anger voters who will then turn out in the presidential election,” said Huffmon.

For a full breakdown of the poll results, click here.

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