Haley 45%, Sheheen 41%: Are the voters starting to pay attention?

I don’t know whether to be greatly encouraged or suspicious at the numbers. I’m going to choose to be cautiously encouraged by the poll numbers I learned about this morning from Tim Kelly’s blog:

A new poll completed just last evening shows some significant positive movement for Vincent Sheheen, with the race a virtual dead heat. Nikki Haley leads Sheheen 45%-41%, within the poll’s margin of error of 3.9%. Thirteen percent remain undecided.

The poll was conducted by South Carolina pollster Crantford & Associates. The survey involved 634 active registered South Carolina voters. Data collection occurred Thursday September the 30th between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

While Rasmussen surveys have shown Haley maintaining a strong lead, the new results might signal that the accumulation of negative stories about Haley’s financial dealings is finally taking a toll. On Sunday, John O’Connor of The State explored the $110,000 fundraising job created specifically for Haley by Lexington Medical Center.

The Crantford poll also included the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Jim Demint and surprise challenger Alvin Green. Not surprisingly, Demint holds a 56%-23% lead in that race.

A copy of last night’s survey is available here (PDF).

I don’t know anything about this Crantford outfit. When I asked Tim what he knew, he said:

Carey does solid work. The knock on him would be that he’s a Democrat, but I’ve never known that to sway his numbers or sampling.

Could the voters finally be starting to pay attention to what we’re all learning? That would be wonderful news for South Carolina.

25 thoughts on “Haley 45%, Sheheen 41%: Are the voters starting to pay attention?

  1. Matt

    Wow, I didn’t know it was possible to be a South Carolina politico and/or be part of Columbia’s establishment inner-circle and NOT know who Carey Crantford is.

    He is a great guy, and yes a Democrat, but just on the surface his poll raises some red flags. For instance, 26% of the respondents in his poll are African-American, which is much higher than reasonable estimates of what black turnout should be statewide in November. He also has only a 4-percentage point spread between self-identified Republicans and self-identified Democrats. That number is WAY off if you know anything about partisan identification in South Carolina. Also, it is likely that male voters in South Carolina will account for more than 42% of the electorate this go-around, but that is an educated guess.

  2. Doug Ross

    Uh, look at his Facebook page.

    He “likes” Vincent Sheheen.


    And here’s his name on the list of “South Carolina’s New Democrats”


    And here’s a page with $900 in donations to Democratic parties in Alabama…


    and $300 to the Democratic party in South Carolina


    Sheesh… that took me less than two minutes to Google.

    I just polled my two dogs and they both are voting for Haley. It’s 100%-0%. I guess if someone will pay for a poll, you can get whatever result you want.

    Sheheen cannot win unless the black vote comes out in full force. Even then, he’s got to flip 10% or more of the Republicans. He’s given them no reason to. It’s over.

  3. Doug T


    If you Google party affiliation, it may be closer to even than you would think. There’s still pockets of us democrats around.

    All I know is reading comments to Sheheen/Haley news stories, they seem heavily in favor of Sheheen.

    Either he has a team of people responding or the word is out among the informed. It’s the uniformed that could win it for Haley.

  4. Ralph Hightower

    I certainly hope so. I hope that Republicans and voters are finally realizing that Nikki Haley is incompetent as an accountant. She cannot pay her parent’s business taxes or business property taxes on time, and also did not submit her parent’s employee withholding taxes to the IRS or SC DOR. Not only is Nikki Haley reckless in business, she is also reckless in her personal financial affairs by failing to pay her property taxes on time.

    I know of another Republican that is going to vote for Sheheen, but I cannot reveal the person.

    It appears that Republican support for Sheheen is growing.

    Cindi Scoppe has written that Sheheen has been more effective than Haley has in getting legislation passed. http://www.thestate.com/2010/09/29/1487312/scoppe-measuring-the-gubernatorial.html

    With Haley, one can expect four more years of the governor and General Assembly battling with each other; she is nothing more than “Sanford in a Skirt”. We still do not know if she has the same “Bill Clinton” problem that SC Governot Mark Sanford has, “problems with his zipper!”

    The only way South Carolina can advance and grow is to elect a governor that won’t have a contentious relationship with the General Assembly. Sheheen is the only rational choice for governor.

  5. bud

    One poll does not a trend make. If you do 100 polls with a margin of +- 5% where the actual margin is 10 points on average 5 will show the margin to be just 5 points. If we see a few more polls with this kind of margin then I’ll get excited. The 538 web site gives Sheenen about a 4% chance of winning right now.

  6. Howard

    This poll is very encouraging. Obviously it needs to be picked up by the mainstream and reported as part of the election cycle news and advancements. However, regardless of whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you have any intelligence what-so-ever it is nearly impossible to support Haley. There are at least 3 incredible problems. First, SC is a legislative state and Haley will not have a better relationship than Sanford with the legislature. Therefore, it would be foolish to support her on that basis. Second, Haley offer empty rhetoric about taking back our government and incites support merely on an emotional basis. Intelligent people recognize that despite what your feeling are about Washington, in South Carolina Nikki won’t be “taking back” our government from anyone. Sanford, her mentor, has been Governor of 8 years, so what is she taking back and from whom? Third, she offers nothing but divisive language that will further divide our State and our Country. Since when did we stop caring about common ground and working together? You cannot lead because you are elected by a group of angry people. You lead because you understand that in a society various interests must co-exist and cooperate to allow enough freedom and resources for people to live their lives as fully as possible. She is strictly espousing angry rhetoric that if successful, will only leave those who supported her wondering what’s next in the so-called revolution and what must be taken next in order to realize their ill-concieved dream.

  7. Brad

    Doug’s dogs have good sense? How do you figure?

    Personally, I think Doug’s dogs are part of the problem. I suspect they both voted for Alvin Greene. They thought the name “Alvin” meant he was a chipmunk, and they love to chase chipmunks.

    I’m beginning to think it was a mistake to have given dogs the right to vote…

  8. bud

    Perhaps I’m coming across as overly pessimistic. But this has become a very Republican state in a very strong Republican year. If the election were held 2 years ago Sheheen would stand a very good chance with an enthusiastic Democratic base. But he just picked a bad year to run. I will support Vince for all the reasons Brad has so eloquently indicated. But I don’t hold out much hope.

    By the way, I just checked the 538 site and Sheheen’s odds of winning are 5% and dropping. They didn’t include the Crantford poll however.

  9. Brad

    Of course, if the dogs were in any way involved in Doug’s stellar fund-raising effort, I take it all back. In fact, I might want to hire his dogs to sell ads for the blog.

    I would hire my dog, but he has an attention deficit problem. He pays attention to two things only: Dinner, and the back door. When we put him out, he will stare at the back door, waiting for someone to open it, for hours on end. We have this huge backyard, half of which is wild, and he has the run of it, but he’s totally uninterested. He just stares at the back door. He has no interest in squirrels, or even chipmunks. He is a countercultural dog.

  10. Brad

    Just got this from a campaign operative who doesn’t want to be identified, but who should be knowledgeable about these things:

    noticed … comment on your blog about 26% being too high a sample of African American voters.

    in 2006, African American voters were about 23%, and in 2008, about 30% of the electorate.

    26% seems about right, given the skyrocket in voter reg from 08. It might be low.

    Please do not attribute those statistics to me, if you want to make use of them, b/c campaign staffers are highly discouraged from any communication with media during the campaign season.

    Hope you had a great birthday!

    I don’t know, not having analyzed relevant general election turnout lately. I do know that 2008 was an aberration with regard to black turnout. The big “Obama Effect” is not going to be a factor this time, not directly. But since that did boost registration, 26 percent doesn’t seem out of line.

  11. bud

    Don’t mean to be a killjoy but 26% AA turnout seems very high. The Obama factor was huge in 2008 and only got it to 30%. The opposite is probably true today with an abundance of new Tea Party types getting energized. Combined with the typical apathy for new voters following a someone disappointed first two years for Obama and I would expect a very sharp drop off in the black vote. These two factors together should pull the black vote % way down this time around to say 20-22% maybe less. That would make the Haley lead reported in most polls about right.

  12. yarrrr

    Eh, African Americans were between 25-28% of the vote in 2008… they were not 30%…

    Forget the polls, why did Anton Gunn jump? Why does the DGA have a habit of blowing off SC?

  13. KP

    My bad. I read too fast — I thought Doug said his dogs were voting for Sheheen. I figured his dogs would be smarter.

    I WISH my dog would just stare at the door. He barks loudly, once, and expects the door to open. Of course it always does.

  14. miller

    Yes, it looks like Crantford screwed up. For all we know, Sheheen has a 10-point or even 20-point lead. Or maybe he is down 10 or 20 points. Until the survey is redone with valid techniques, we won’t know.

  15. Doug Ross

    Let’s take the average of the right leaning Rasmussen poll that shows Haley up by 17 and the left leaning Crantford poll showing Haley up by four. 21/2 = 10.5

    Haley by 10.5 is probably pretty close to what the result will be. I’ve been saying 53-47 but if Sheheen has to drive the ticket, 55-45 would be a safe bet.

  16. Dominic Gotti

    I would NOT vote for Nikki Haley if she were the only one running! She is fake in my opinion, I don’t trust her. I just watched a debate between the 2…I will vote for Sheheen and I’m a Republician!


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