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Haley lags behind Trump in home state of South Carolina by 29 points: poll

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has a gaping lead in South Carolina over the rest of the primary field, including former Palmetto State governor Nikki Haley.

An Emerson College poll released Friday shows Trump leading Haley by 29 percentage points on her home turf, pulling in 54% support to Haley’s 25%.

No other candidate in the race reached double digits in the poll, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis garnering 7% support, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 5% and biotech mogul Vivek Ramaswamy at 3%. Another 6% said they were undecided.

Haley fares best among self-declared independent voters in the Palmetto State, beating Trump 37% to 33% in that demographic.

However, Trump has an overwhelming advantage among Republicans, pulling 62% to Haley’s 21%.

Haley’s campaign has previously said they plan to win in South Carolina. REUTERS

“The current state of the race in South Carolina finds Trump as the frontrunner with Haley as his main opponent. DeSantis has seen a decline in support, and similar to our New Hampshire poll has faded into the pack with single-digit support,” said Emerson College Polling Executive Director Spencer Kimball. in a statement.

“A key question arising from this poll is whether Haley can mobilize ample support in her home state before the primary, in the case the race becomes more competitive after New Hampshire.”

The Haley campaign previously told The Post they expect to win South Carolina. She has been campaigning heavily in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two earlier voting states, in a bid to get enough momentum to boost her in her home state, which votes on Feb. 24.

The Emerson College poll shows Trump ahead of the GOP pack. Emerson College Polling

Per RealClearPolitics’ average, the 51-year-old Haley is polling in third in Iowa — behind DeSantis and Trump — and second in New Hampshire, behind only the former president.

Trump, 77, leads DeSantis, 45, in Iowa by over 32 points on average. Haley has narrowed the gap in New Hampshire, but is still more than 21 percentage points behind Trump, according to the RCP aggregate.

On Wednesday, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Haley’s top campaign surrogate in the Granite State, guaranteed she would win the Jan. 23 primary and come in a “strong second” in Iowa.

Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa REUTERS

President Biden leads the South Carolina field on the Democratic side with 69% support, far ahead of rivals Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) — who has 5% backing — and self-help author Marianne Williamson, who has 3% support.

“Biden holds a strong base of support among South Carolina Democrats, no alternative presents any challenge for the president,” Kimball said. “The 22% still on the sidelines present an opportunity for Biden to begin his 2024 primary elections with a strong showing to open for the Democratic nomination.”

The poll showed the top concern for 40% of South Carolina voters is the economy, followed by immigration (14%), education and “threats to democracy” (9% each), healthcare (8%), crime (6%), housing affordability (5%) and abortion access (5%). 

The poll, which was conducted Jan. 2-3, surveyed 1,046 South Carolina voters, and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3%. On the Republican side, the poll had a sample of 584 voters and a margin or error of plus-or-minus 5%.

Emerson also surveyed 320 Democratic voters, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 5.4% for that data set.

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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