Despite his two indictments and constant negative mainstream media coverage, President Trump’s polling numbers have continued to grow in recent months ahead of the 2024 Republican primaries.
In South Carolina, the third state for the GOP primary cycle, Trump gained an additional three percent support since May, while candidate Nikki Haley, the state’s former governor, lost three percent from last month.
The latest poll from National Public Affairs showed the 45th president with 41 percent support among Republicans in the state, while his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, came in second place with 18 percent support.
Nikki Haley took third place with 12 percent, followed by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott with 10 percent, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in fifth with five percent.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson received two percent support, while North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum received just one percent.
The poll of 809 likely primary voters in the state also found that nearly one-third of residents said the indictment against Trump made them more likely to support him, while 40 percent said it would not impact their decision.
More than half of the state’s voters also believed that Trump did nothing wrong when it came to his handling of classified materials, and another 13 percent said it was “not a big deal.”
Although South Carolina’s nine electoral votes are expected to go to the Republican candidate in the general election, the state’s 50 delegates in the primaries are vital to a victory for the eventual party nominee.
Since 1976 (with the exception of 2012), every GOP nominee won the South Carolina primaries, a testimony of the state’s importance in presidential politics.
In 2016, Trump won the state’s primaries with 32.5 percent, helping to propel him to securing the party’s nomination and ultimately the White House. His early leads in 2024 have already shown him holding a wider margin than he had in 2016.
The 2024 South Carolina GOP primaries are set to take place on Feb. 24, 2024. It is the third state for the primary cycle, preceded by Iowa and New Hampshire, of which Trump has also dominated pre-election polling.
For Democrats, South Carolina has historically served as the fourth state of the primary cycle. However, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) changed the rules earlier this year to make the state their first of the 2024 primary cycle.
An early victory for Biden in a state like South Carolina could stifle a primary contest from Democrats Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, who are expected to earn more support in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
It is speculated that the DNC’s move of the state’s primary date is yet another measure to give the unpopular Biden an easy path to renomination. The DNC also announced earlier this year that they would not hold any primary debates and that they would collectively back Biden.
The 2024 South Carolina Democrat primaries will take place on Feb. 3, 2024.