Human Events and Gravis Marketing conducted a random survey of 601 registered South Carolina voters regarding current events, including potential presidential and senate candidates. The poll carries a margin of error of 4%. The results follow; crosstabs are available upon request.
Of the currently mentioned contenders for the Republican presidential nominee New Jersey Governor Chris Cristie is ahead with 17% of the vote. Overall, no clear front-runner has emerged.
Interestingly, on the U.S. Senate seat, respondents preferred Jim DeMint to Senator Lindsey Graham by a 47% to 36% advantage. When asked about having a Tea Party challenger in the Republican primary, respondents were evenly split, with 39% wanting a Tea Party challenger, while 37% do not.
While the June primary is still six months away, it is significant that an incumbent Republican senator in a solidly conservative state has four primary opponents. Senator Graham easily beats each of the candidates, yet there is a bloc of undecided voters representing more than 20 percent of the Republican voter. Graham, a congressman and then senator since 1995, needs to close the sale with these undecided, since he is a know quantity, or he may find himself a victim to one of his challengers picking up support from both the undecided and from other candidates, who fall out of contention.