South Carolina Polls Show McCain, Huckabee and Romney Running Close

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Carolina Polls Show McCain, Huckabee and Romney Running Close Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 16,

Columbia, SC ( — Now that Mitt Romney has won the Michigan primary, the Republican presidential campaign heads to South Carolina. Polls there show him, John McCain and Mike Huckabee within striking distance of winning the first big presidential battle in the South.

An average of the most recent surveys in the state show Huckabee with the support of about 26 percent of Republicans while John McCain has the backing of 23 percent and Mitt Romney 17 percent.

Fred Thompson averages 10 percent while Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul have averages in the single digits.

However, some of the recent polls have aged data from over a week ago and the most recent one, conducted by Rasmussen, has McCain leading Huckabee and Romney by a 28-19-17 margin. The poll also shows Fred Thompson making a comeback in the state and getting the support of 16 percent of the GOP support.

Polling data is useful for showing trends within a state election and Rasmussen’s older polls show the movement that’s been happening there in the last week or two. The trend shows McCain, Romney and Thompson gaining while Huckabee is losing traction.

On January 6, Rasmussen’s survey showed Huckabee leading with 28 percent of the vote compared to 21 percent for McCain, 15 for Romney and 11 for Thompson.

By January 9, Huckabee had dropped to 24 percent, McCain grabbed the lead with 27 percent, and Romney and Thompson gained one point each.

With the poll released on Sunday, Rasmussen shows McCain and Romney gaining another point, Huckabee dropping five percent, and Thompson rising four percent.

The polls have shown some effect from past elections with Mike Huckabee rising after his Iowa caucus win and John McCain rising after his New Hampshire primary victory. Romney’s Michigan victory on Tuesday night could help him gain more support in South Carolina.

Ultimately, South Carolina is a state with a considerable number of pro-life and evangelical voters that could provide a lift to Huckabee and Thompson, who has the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee and South Carolina Citizens for Life.