Trump holds sizable lead in South Carolina, poll shows

Donald Trump ("Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore 3" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Donald Trump holds a sizable lead in the first southern contest of the GOP primary season, according to a new Monmouth University Poll.

Three-in-ten voters who are likely to participate in South Carolina’s GOP primary say they are backing Trump, with Ben Carson placing a distant second. In general, Palmetto State Republican primary voters say the country needs a president from outside of politics over someone with government experience, the poll revealed.

Donald Trump is supported by 30 percent of voters likely to participate in South Carolina’s Republican primary in February, followed by Ben Carson at 15 percent. The next tier of candidates includes Jeb Bush (9 percent), Marco Rubio (6 percent), Carly Fiorina (6 percent), Ted Cruz (5 percent), and Scott Walker (4 percent).

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina’s senior U.S. Senator, gets little love from his home-state voters, pulling in a mere 4 percent support. John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul each saw 3 percent of the vote.

None of the remaining six candidates earn support greater than 2%. Another 11 percent of likely primary voters have no preference yet.

“We’ve become accustomed to Donald Trump leading in every poll, as the candidate himself likes to remind us,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, N.J., said in a news release. “It’s interesting that Ben Carson, whose parents come from neighboring Georgia, is outpolling the state’s own senator as a second choice.”

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