Mike Huckabee,  Mitt Romney,  Newt Gingrich,  President 2012,  Sarah Palin

President 2012 South Carolina Poll Watch: Huckabee and Romney Beat Obama – Palin and Gingrich Don’t

The latest PPP Presidential Poll in South Carolina has arrived.

Obama’s approval rating in the state is 44% with 52% of voters disapproving. Those numbers track pretty well with his nine point margin of defeat in 2008. He has the Democratic base firmly behind him at 89% approval. That’s no small feat in a state where traditionally Democrats have been unusually conservative but I guess you could also argue that’s a measure of the exodus of those conservative Democrats to the independent or Republican ranks. GOP voters unsurprisingly give Obama almost no support at all, with just 8% approving and 89% disapproving. And independents lean against Obama by a 39/54 spread.

And, how do the GOP candidates match up against the slighlty unpopular Obama in a RED state?

Favorability Vs. Unfavorability:

  • Gingrich – 32% Vs. 46%
  • Palin 34% Vs. 58%
  • Huckabee 48% Vs. 32%
  • Romney 42% Vs. 34%

Heads up against President Obama:

  • Obama leads 47% Vs. 41% Palin
  • Obama leads 44% Vs. 43% Gingrich
  • Huckabee leads Obama 49% Vs. 43%
  • Romney leads Obama 49% Vs. 42%

I am really surprised that Sarah Palin does worse than Romney in South Carolina. Of course, with Mike Huckabee out of the race, she may do better against Mitt Romney.

However, her poll numbers against the President at this time may give her pause. Why run and risk her brand when she can wait, and bide her time while making the big bucks on Fox News and other media gigs?

Then, there is favorite son, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.

We also tested Jim DeMint against Obama. DeMint has very solid approval numbers with 49% of voters giving him good marks to just 34% who disapprove. He has near unanimous support from the Republican base and the favor of maybe a surprisingly high 19% of Democrats. But matched up with the President he leads only 47-45. That suggests a pretty high level of ambivalence about DeMint going for the White House from voters in the state, whether the cause of that is people not thinking he’s suited for the office or just that they’d like to see him serve out his Senate term.

The poll is here (Pdf).