Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch holds a slight lead over former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) in their likely House matchup, according to a new poll.
The Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling finds that Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, leads Sanford by 47 to 45 percent, within the poll's margin of error. She also ties attorney Curtis Bostic (R) at 43 percent.
Bostic will face Sanford in a GOP primary runoff next Tuesday to determine who will face Colbert Busch in the general election. Sanford has the edge in the runoff, leading Bostic by 53 to 40 percent with likely GOP voters, according to PPP.
If Sanford wins the GOP nomination, he could face an uphill battle in the general election. His approval rating in the South Carolina district is underwater, with just 34 percent holding a positive opinion of him, compared with 58 percent who have a negative one.
The low approval rating likely stems from Sanford's fall from grace in South Carolina politics. His tenure as governor hit the rocks in 2009 after he admitted he was having an affair with a woman in Argentina when he claimed to be hiking the Appalachian Trail. He later divorced his wife, Jenny Sanford.
Sanford's bid for a political comeback could be thwarted by Colbert Busch, who has been running a strong campaign and seems to have a real shot at winning Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottHow expanded credit data can help tackle inequities Dems erupt over GOP 'McCarthyism' as senators vet Biden bank watchdog pick Why Democrats' prescription drug pricing provision would have hurt seniors MORE's (R-S.C.) old House seat.
The PPP poll also shows Colbert Busch is doing well despite President Obama's weak numbers in the GOP-leaning district: The president's approval rating there is just 41 percent.
The automated poll of 1,175 likely voters was conducted from March 22-24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. The Republican primary oversample was of 648 likely GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent.