Here Are The Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #13215

Geography Surveyed: South Carolina
Data Collected: 01/16/2008 - 01/17/2008
Release Date: 01/18/2008 7:55 AM ET
Sponsors: WCSC-TV Charleston, WSPA-TV Greenville

EVE OF SC GOP PRIMARY -- McCain and Huckabee Palmetto to Palmetto: On the eve of the South Carolina Republican Primary, John McCain has the slightest edge over Mike Huckabee, but within the margin of sampling error, each with an excellent chance to win, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WSPA-TV Greenville and WCSC-TV Charleston. At this hour, it's: McCain 31%, Huckabee 27%, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson tied for 3rd place, and Ron Paul and Rudolph Giuliani further back. Huckabee leads by 10 Upstate. In the Midlands, the two are tied. But in the Low Country, McCain leads 2:1. Among seniors, McCain leads by 22 points. Among voters under 50, Huckabee leads by 7, but McCain has momentum.

That Was Then, This is Now: 5 weeks ago, when the Dow was at 13,700, SC Republicans said Immigration was the most important issue facing the next President. Today, with the Dow 1,550 points lower, Republicans say the Economy is the most important issue. Among voters focused on the Economy, McCain has eclipsed Huckabee. Among voters focused on Immigration, McCain runs 4th, behind Romney, Thompson, and Huckabee. If South Carolina's seniors and Low Country residents vote in larger numbers than SurveyUSA here forecasts, McCain wins. If younger voters, voters in the Midlands and voters Upstate turn-out in larger numbers, Huckabee wins. If Fred Thompson siphons more votes from Mike Huckabee than SurveyUSA here detects, McCain wins. This is SurveyUSA's 6th tracking poll in SC. Giuliani led on 11/13/07, 9 weeks ago. That makes Giuliani's 2% showing today remarkable.

28% Might Still Change Their Mind: 2,250 South Carolina adults were interviewed 01/15/08 and 01/16/08. All interviews conducted after the results of the 01/15/08 Michigan Primary were known. 1,958 of those interviewed were registered to vote in South Carolina. Of them, 699 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 01/19/08 Republican Primary. At this hour, 18 hours till polls open, 28% of likely Republican Primary voters say they "may" change their mind. Among just the subset of likely voters who say their mind is made up, McCain leads Huckabee 33% to 28% -- within the survey's margin of sampling error. These results incorporate results from SurveyUSA Poll # 13205 conducted 01/15/08 and released 01/16/08. Caveat: Of the voters interviewed by SurveyUSA for this poll, 189 were excluded because they told SurveyUSA they were not yet sure whether they would vote in the Republican Primary on 01/19/08 or the Democratic Primary on 01/26/08. The South Carolina Primary is "open." How these Palmetto Fence-Sitters ultimately dismount may influence the outcome of the primary.

1
  Asked of 699 likely republican primary voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 3.8%

If the Republican Primary for President of the United States were today, would you vote for ...(names rotated) Rudy Giuliani? Mike Huckabee? John McCain? Mitt Romney? Fred Thompson? Ron Paul? Or some other Republican?

2% Giuliani
27% Huckabee
31% McCain
17% Romney
16% Thompson
5% Paul
1% Other
2% Undecided

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