A new poll shows that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are statistically tied in deep red South Carolina as Trump’s two-point lead is within the poll’s margin of error.
According to PPP:
PPP’s newest South Carolina poll* finds that the state is trending toward being competitive in the Presidential race this year, just like in neighboring Georgia. Donald Trump has only a 2 point lead with 41% to 39% for Hillary Clinton, 5% for Gary Johnson, and 2% for Jill Stein.
The closeness is a function of Democrats being a lot happier with their party’s candidate than Republicans are with theirs. Clinton is winning 84% of the Democratic vote, compared to Trump’s 77% of the Republican vote. Although neither candidate is well liked by voters in the state Trump’s favorability, at 38% positive and 56% negative, comes in slightly worse than Clinton’s at 38/55.
Trump is only ahead because of a massive advantage among seniors in the state at 58/30. When you look at everyone in the electorate below the age of 65, Clinton leads Trump 41/36. That suggests the potential for the Palmetto State to become much more of a battleground in the years ahead, just as in migration and the increasing diversity of the electorate has done in Southern states like Virginia and North Carolina.
South Carolina voters overwhelmingly support increasing background checks (84%) support, 84% also support not allowing people who are on the terror watch list from buying guns, and 77% support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10/hour.
The poll was sponsored by the South Carolina Democratic Party, but not conducted by the Democratic Party. The same demographic shifts that are being caused by inward migration and demographic diversity in North Carolina and Virginia are also occurring in South Carolina. What the South Carolina poll highlights is the narrow base of support that Republican nominee Donald Trump is clinging on to.
Trump’s bedrock of support is with conservative white senior voters. For all of his talk of expanding the GOP, Trump is shrinking the Republican Party down to its whitest and most loyal core. South Carolina joins Georgia, Arizona, and Utah as red states that Republicans are in danger of seeing flip to Hillary Clinton in November.
If Trump loses South Carolina to Clinton, it will signal a landslide of historic levels. Should red states begin to fall to Clinton on Election Night, Republicans will lose their bid for the White House, control of the Senate, and could even lose their House majority.
As bad as Republicans thought things were under Trump, the South Carolina poll suggests that the situation could be worse than anyone imagined.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association