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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Commonviews 2002: A Closer Analysis of GOP Gubernatorial Poll
Jimmy Moore
April 24, 2002

(Commonviews 2002 is a series of articles examining the most important issues in South Carolina’s 2002 statewide GOP primary races. Click here to find out more about the purpose of Commonviews 2002 and how to submit your own suggestions for future topics of discussion.)

April 23, 2002 will be remembered as a momentous turning point in the race for who will become the Republican gubernatorial challenger to Jim Hodges in the November elections. While all the focus yesterday was on Lt. Governor Bob Peeler’s supposedly strong showing in the poll, there were other items of interest revealed in the poll that have not been reported on upon a closer analysis.

The first question that was asked in the poll was the following:

"If the Republican primary for governor were held today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for?"

The results of this question in the poll show that Bob Peeler’s lead over Attorney General Charlie Condon is 33% to 26%, with all the other candidates lagging way behind. With the poll having a statistical margin of error of plus or minus 3.8%, this election has come down to a statistical dead heat between Peeler and Condon. It seems that these two men will meet in the runoff election on June 25th, according to the poll.

The second question that was asked in the poll, which is even more important than the first, was the following:

"If there is a run-off election and your candidate is NOT in the run-off, who will you be voting for?"

The results of this question in the poll show that Charlie Condon leads Bob Peeler 29% to 21% as the second choice for Governor. If you add up both the first and second place votes for Charlie Condon and Bob Peeler in this poll, Condon leads Peeler 55% to 54%. This further proves the race to be a very close one. More importantly, it shows that Charlie Condon is a more favorable second choice to supporters of the other candidates than Bob Peeler is. This could be the impetus for pushing Condon to a swift victory in the runoff election, according to the results of the poll.

In addition, what is so amazing about Charlie Condon’s strong showing in this poll is that he has not yet begun his television advertising. While Peeler and former Congressman Mark Sanford have been on television for over two weeks already, Condon has not. Nevertheless, his poll numbers show the enormous strength of his message of ending all property taxes getting out through his town hall meetings across the state.

Another interesting side note in this poll is the extremely poor and unexpected showing of Mark Sanford. With only 13% of the voters choosing him as their first choice and only 9% of the voters choosing him as their second choice, he has a seemingly impossible job of trying to catch up to both Peeler and Condon. Although he has raised the most money in the campaign, it still does has not helped him overcome his lack of name recognition across the state. He says that he was not surprised by the results of this poll, but you know he has got to be scratching his head to figure out what to do next to jumpstart his flailing campaign.

Finally, many have surmised that Bob Peeler has a better chance of beating Jim Hodges in the general election this Fall than Charlie Condon. However, everyone knows that Gov. Hodges is in trouble. Jackpot Jim is nothing more than a lame duck! Whether it is Peeler or Condon, Jim Hodges' days are numbered as he will be soundly defeated by the eventual Republican nominee.

What do YOU think?

Does this new poll show that Peeler’s support is strong enough to carry him to a guaranteed victory in the June primary and runoff?

Or do you think it shows that Condon will be the winner in the runoff?

Or do you think it means there will be a two-man race between Peeler and Condon that is too close to call?

Or do you think Mark Sanford or Jim Miles (or any of the other candidates running for that matter!) still have a chance to be in the runoff election?

There are so many angles to this story and I am interested in hearing what you have to say. Please try to stick to explaining the reasons why you think your candidate is going to be in the runoff election. Here’s your chance to make the case for your candidate of choice.

Click on the "Comment On This Article" button below and discuss this poll and tell us what YOU think. I look forward to hearing from you!

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