Nikki Haley emerges as frontrunner in South Carolina GOP ranked-choice presidential primary poll

WCIV (Charleston)
WPDE (Florence)
The Clinton Chronicle
September 5, 2023

by Ian Kayanja

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — The August results of a rolling Republican presidential primary poll found former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the consensus majority leader on the 15-candidate ranked choice voting ballot.

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and Better Ballot South Carolina sponsored the poll. It utilizes ranked-choice voting and provides would-be primary voters a snapshot of how the public feels about the crowded field of Republican candidates running in the primary.

Fellow South Carolinian Senator Tim Scott placed third, and the former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came in second.

The poll isn’t considered scientific, but its results follow a trend for Haley, who walked away from the first GOP debate with a slight boost in her national profile.

In the days following the debate, the Haley campaign announced that it hauled in $1 million in donations.

During the debate, Haley highlighted her experience in foreign affairs. She also, in a back-and-forth with Vivek Ramaswamy, highlighted what she believes is a lack of experience in foreign affairs that he possesses.

“You have no foreign policy experience, and it shows,” she said during the debate.

The recent polling numbers arrive during a busy week for Haley in South Carolina.

She is holding two meet-and-greet events on Thursday and Friday in her home state.

The first meet and greet will be held Thursday at Plankowner Brewing Company on Garden Road in Boiling Springs. It starts at 3:30 p.m.

The second meet and greet will be held Friday at Holy City Brewing on Aragon Avenue in North Charleston, starting at 6:30 p.m.

In national polling data, Haley has seen a bump, but not as drastic as the Better Ballot SC poll. Haley now sits at six percent, placing her fourth in the Republican primary.

Four-time indicted former President Donal Trump still leads, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a distant second.

In early August, before the first debate, Haley was polling nationally around three percent.

Feb. 24 is the date South Carolinians will get to cast a vote in the Republican primary race.

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