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Rasmussen: Sen. Graham's Popularity Dips in S.C.

Saturday, 07 Aug 2010 11:20 AM

A lot more South Carolina Republicans are unhappy with GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham these days.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in South Carolina finds that 54 percent of Palmetto State Republicans still have a favorable opinion of Graham. But 44 percent view the senator unfavorably, and that’s up 13 points from December. 

These findings include 29 percent of GOP voters with a very favorable opinion of Graham and 22 percent with a very unfavorable view.

Sixty percent of South Carolina Republicans think their party should be more like the state’s other Republican senator, Jim DeMint, than like Graham. That’s a nine-point increase from December. Just 27 percent believe the party should be more like Graham, and 14 percent more are undecided.

Ninety-two percent of the state’s Republicans have a favorable opinion of DeMint, including 61 percent with a very favorable view of him.

DeMint currently holds a 42-point lead in his bid for reelection to the Senate this year. 

Graham has angered conservative Republicans in the state by his efforts to work with Democrats on some issues, notably global warming. His recent decision to vote for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan prompted another county GOP committee to censure him this week.

Republican Nikki Haley continues to hold a double-digit lead over Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in South Carolina’s race for governor.

Among all voters in the state, 51 percent view Graham favorably, including 21 percent with a very favorable opinion. Forty-two percent regard him unfavorably, including 20 percent very unfavorable.

By comparison, 69 percent view DeMint favorably, while only 24 percent hold an unfavorable opinion of him. This includes 35 percent very favorable and 16 percent very unfavorable.

When all voters are asked, rather than just Republicans, 32 percent say the South Carolina Republican Party should be more like Graham, and 40 percent say more like DeMint. Twenty-eight percent aren’t sure.

Graham was elected to his second term in the Senate in 2008 with 58 percent of the vote. He doesn’t stand for re-election until 2014.

The survey of 500 likely voters in South Carolina was conducted on July 29, 2010, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

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