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South Carolina: McCain 48% Obama 39%

Victories by both Barack Obama and John McCain in South Carolina’s Presidential Primaries set the stage and put them both on the path to their party’s Presidential Nominations. Now, Obama and McCain will compete directly for the Palmetto State’s Eight Electoral College votes.

The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of that race finds McCain leading Obama 48% to 39%. Six percent (6%) say they’d vote for a third party candidate while 7% remain undecided. The survey was conducted two nights after Obama clinched the Democratic Presidential Nomination. National polling shows Obama enjoying a bounce in the afterglow of that historic night.

McCain is supported by 78% of South Carolina Republicans and leads 44% to 24% among unaffiliated voters. Obama earns the vote from 73% of Democrats.

McCain leads by twenty-six percentage points among men but trails by eight among women.

Rasmussen Markets data gives McCain a % chance of winning South Carolina this November. George W. Bush won the state by seventeen points in Election 2004 and by sixteen points four years earlier. Former President Jimmy Carter is the only Democrat to win South Carolina since 1960. The state is currently ranked as “Safely Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator.

McCain is viewed favorably by 60% of South Carolina’s likely voters. Obama earns positive reviews from 49%.

Fifty percent (50%) say it’s more important to get the troops home from Iraq than it is to win the War. Those figures are similar to the national average.

Fifty-four percent (54%) believe that, if John McCain is elected President, the U.S. is at least somewhat likely to win the war. Just 28% believe that is likely if Obama becomes our next President.

However, 62% believe that a President Obama would bring the troops home within four years. Just 42% believe a President McCain would do the same.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of South Carolina voters believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Just 17% disagree. Those figures are similar to the national average.

Just 15% say the government represents the will of the people while 71% disagree.

Fifty percent (50%) say elections are fair to voters. Eighty-two percent (82%) are confident that their votes will be accurately counted in November and that the appropriate candidates will be declared the winner.

President Bush earned 58% of the vote in South Carolina four years ago. Today, 38% say he is doing a good or an excellent job.

Governor Mark Sanford gets better reviews—54% good or excellent and 18% poor.

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South Carolina Likely Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

"538" Avg.

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In Trade

McCain (R)




Obama (D)




This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on June 5, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.

Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in South Carolina




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Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary





Toss-Ups & Leaners


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.