Winthrop Poll: Likely Republican voters in South Carolina back Donald Trump

Winthrop Poll: Likely Republican voters in South Carolina back Donald Trump

ROCK HILL, SC (WCSC) - A new poll suggests 24 percent of South Carolina's likely Republican voters will back real estate tycoon Donald Trump in the state's Republican Primary on Feb. 20.

The poll was completed on Monday, the same day Trump made his controversial stand about enacting a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

According to the Winthrop University website, 828 likely voters in the 2016 South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary were polled.

In descending order, pollsters say SC GOP Presidential Primary likely voters support:

• New York tycoon Donald Trump, 24%

• U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, 16%

• Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 14%

• U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, 11%

• Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 9%

• Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, 2%

• U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, 2%

• Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, 2%

• N.J. Governor Chris Christie, 1%

• Ohio Governor John Kasich, 1%

• U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, 1%

Seventeen percent remain unsure who they will support, according to poll.

According to a news release sent by Winthrop, three candidates – former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, former New York Governor George Pataki and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum – did not register any support. One percent of poll respondents refused to answer the question, the news release states.

"Trump leads across multiple categories of voters from a high of 35% among those who wish to create a database of Muslims in the U.S. to a low of 22% among Evangelical Christians, who will make up nearly 60% of the S.C. GOP Presidential Primary electorate," Winthrop Poll Director Dr. Scott Huffmon said. " Ted Cruz is tied with Ben Carson at 17% among Evangelicals. This is a significant drop for Carson among Evangelicals. He registered 33% support among this group in a Monmouth Poll a month ago. It is worth noting that 1 in 5 Evangelicals remain undecided."

"With 25%, Ted Cruz is within the margin of error of Trump's 27% among those who approve of the Tea Party," Huffmon continued. "Trump's support is high among those who express anger - as opposed to frustration or contentment - with the government. He rakes in nearly a third of the angry voters, 9 percentage points higher than Ted Cruz, his nearest rival in this category."

The news release says a third of respondents say the threat of terrorism is the most important issue in the upcoming primary. The economy and immigration round out the top three issues.

Pollsters say 61 percent of respondents told them they are frustrated with the federal government, while 35 percent said they are angry and only three percent basically content. Of the Trump supporters, 52 percent were frustrated and 47 percent angry.

The news release says 93 percent of those polled disapprove of President Barack Obama. 81 percent approve of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

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