Presidential races

Bush edges Walker in South Carolina

Jeb Bush has a narrow lead over a packed field of Republican presidential contenders in the early-voting state of South Carolina, according to a poll released Thursday from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

Bush takes 19 percent support, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker coming in at 18 percent, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson tied for third at 13 percent support each.

{mosads}Rounding out the list are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 12 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 7 percent, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at 5 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 3 percent support each.

Graham is currently playing the spoiler role in his home state. He barely registers nationally, and while the third place showing is impressive, a strong majority of Republican voters in South Carolina say he shouldn’t run for president.

Only 25 percent said Graham should seek the White House, compared to 61 percent who said he should not.

Still, he remains popular in the Palmetto State, with a 54 percent approval rating and only 29 percent who said they disapprove.

Bush is polling well in South Carolina among those who identify themselves as moderates, grabbing a 36-6 percent advantage over Walker. The Wisconsin governor’s strength is with those who identify as very conservative, where he has a 27-12 lead over Bush.

Bush’s favorability rating among Tea Party supporters is underwater, at 38 percent favorable and 40 percent unfavorable.

Walker appears to have a high ceiling in the early-voting state. He grabbed second place in the poll despite having low name recognition — only 51 percent of voters in South Carolina have an opinion about him.

While many Republican strategists believe that Cruz has an advantage over Carson on the conservative grassroots track, Carson is polling well ahead of Cruz in the Palmetto State. Among Tea Party supporters, Carson takes 19 percent, trailing only Walker, while Cruz pulled only 8 percent to come in fifth place among Tea Party conservatives.

The automated PPP poll of 525 Republican primary voters was conducted between Feb. 12 and Feb. 15 and has a 4.3 percentage point margin of error. 

Tags Ben Carson Chris Christie Jeb Bush Mike Huckabee Rand Paul Rick Perry Scott Walker Ted Cruz
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