Trump Dominates Nikki Haley In South Carolina Poll Just Days Ahead Of Crucial Primary

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Former President Donald Trump holds a commanding 28-point lead over former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley just days ahead of her home state’s primary, according to a Tuesday poll.

Trump is beating Haley 63% to 35% among those who are “very likely” to vote in Saturday’s Republican primary, a Suffolk University/USA Today survey found. The poll also indicated the former president held double-digit leads over Haley among each age group, both men and women, those with a college degree, high school graduates and voters in military families.

“The story of this poll is the depth of strength shown by Trump,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, told USA Today. (RELATED: Trump Notches Massive Lead Against Haley In Her Home State: POLL)

Haley held a 21-point advantage over Trump among those who self-identified as liberal or moderate, according to the poll. The former governor also notched a small lead with first-time Republican primary voters at 51% to 49%.

Since South Carolina doesn’t register its voters by party, registered voters can participate in either the Democratic or Republican primary, according to the state’s election commission. However, those who voted in the Feb. 3 Democratic primary, which President Joe Biden won in a landslide, cannot vote again on Saturday.

While both Trump and Haley hold positive favorability ratings, the president’s score is much higher at 64% to 25% compared to the former governor’s 47% to 36%, the poll found.

The survey polled 500 “very likely” South Carolina GOP primary voters between Feb. 15 and Feb. 18 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%.

GREER, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 19: Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event at the Cannon Centre on February 19, 2024 in Greer, South Carolina. South Carolina. South Carolina holds its Republican primary on February 24. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

GREER, SOUTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 19: Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event at the Cannon Centre. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Immigration and border security led as voters’ top concern ahead of the primary at 42%, according to the poll. The individuals who said the issue was most pressing to them backed Trump roughly 4 to 1.

The survey also found that Haley led the former president 63% to 37% among the 13% of voters who said the future of democracy is their top issue.

“Nikki Haley was crushed by 30 points in Iowa, defeated by double digits in New Hampshire, literally lost to ‘nobody’ in Nevada, and the road ahead only gets worse,” Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “President Trump will crush Nikki in her own home state of South Carolina and demolish her on Super Tuesday, where he currently leads the polls by whopping margins in every state. Only a birdbrain would stay in this race.”

The former president won the Jan. 15 Iowa caucus with 51% support, and Haley came in third place at 19.1% behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who received 21.2% of the share. Trump beat Haley 54.3% to 43.2% in the New Hampshire primary the following week.

Haley lost the Nevada primary on Feb. 6 to the “None of These Candidates” option by 33 points, where she did not compete for the state’s delegates. The former president secured the Nevada GOP caucus two days later with 99.1% support.

The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 Republican primary in South Carolina, based on polls conducted between Feb. 13 and Feb. 18, indicates Trump is leading Haley by 25.3 points. Trump has the support from nearly all of the Palmetto State’s top Republicans, including Gov. Henry McMaster, Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Haley’s campaign did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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