South Carolina Republican Primary Presidential Poll
February 16-17, 2016
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Presidential Primary Ballot

Donald Trump holds the advantage in South Carolina, earning 29% of the vote on the Presidential Republican Primary ballot test. Ted Cruz (17%) leads a very tight race for second place in the first Southern state, followed by Marco Rubio (15%), Jeb Bush (14%) and John Kasich (13%).

Among likely voters who self-affiliated with the Republican Party, Donald Trump continues to lead (28%), but the race for second shows Ted Cruz (19%) narrowly ahead of Marco Rubio (18%). Among Independents who say they are likely to vote in the primary, Jeb Bush move into second place (Trump 29%, Bush 18%).

Donald Trump’s lead is stronger among men (32%, Cruz 20%) than among women (25%, Bush 16%). Among self-identified Very Conservative voters, Ted Cruz takes the lead (29%, Trump 23%), while more than a third of Somewhat Conservatives choose Trump (35%, Rubio 17%) and Moderates are split between Trump (30%) and Kasich (29%, Bush 20%). Tea Party voters are divided between Ted Cruz (31%) and Donald Trump (33%) while voters who say they do not support the Tea Party choose Trump (25%) followed by Kasich (22%) and Bush (17%). 

Q: If the Republican primary election for President were held today, who would you vote for: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, OR Donald Trump?

Candidate Images

Donald Trump (48% favorable/49% unfavorable) and Ted Cruz (48%/49%), currently first and second on the ballot, are the only two candidates with net negative images. Ben Carson, who is last on the ballot test, has the strongest image of the candidates (62%/32%) but fails to translate that to the ballot. John Kasich (53%/41%), Marco Rubio (53%/44%) and Jeb Bush (51%/46%) all have comparable, solid images with majority favorability. Donald Trump has the highest very favorable number of all of the candidates (34%), but also the highest very unfavorable numbers (34%).

Results & Methodology

The sample size for the survey is 599 likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina and the margin of error is +/-4.0%. Reponses were gathered through land line interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The survey was commissioned, paid for and conducted by Harper Polling on February 16-17, 2016. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Harper Polling