President Donald Trump’s approval rating of 43% has remained steady in South Carolina for the past two months, according to the latest Winthrop Poll. His approval numbers in South Carolina continue to be a few points higher than his national average.
The 45th president has a disapproval rating of 47% among Palmetto State citizens. An earlier Winthrop Poll in February showed similar ratings.
Trump has strong support within his own party; the president has support from 79% of residents who identify GOP or lean Republican.
Trump’s support is more than two and a quarter times higher than that of Congress. Only 19% of South Carolina residents approve of the way Congress is handling its job.
ECONOMY AND STATE GOVERNMENT
Nearly 60% of Winthrop Poll respondents said our country is headed in the wrong direction. Yet two thirds of South Carolina residents said our country’s economy is very good or fairly good.
More than half (54%) think South Carolina is moving in a positive direction, while 67% think the condition of the state’s economy is either very or fairly good. Nearly 54% described their own financial situation as good or excellent.
S.C. residents said the most important problem facing our country is politicians/government, followed by racism, jobs/unemployment, then immigration/refugees. Those surveyed said the most important issues facing the Palmetto State are roads/bridges/infrastructure, education, jobs or unemployment, and racism.
When asked if state services, including highway troopers, social workers, mental health experts, and schools, have kept pace with the growth of the Palmetto State, 62% of poll respondents said they somewhat or strongly felt that these services have not kept pace. Only 11% said that they strongly felt that services have kept pace with growth.
SC GOVERNOR HENRY MCMASTER AND OTHERS
S.C. Governor Henry McMaster’s approval rating in South Carolina stands at 47%. However, his approval rating is 25 points higher than his disapproval rating, putting him very much “above water.” According to Huffmon, “the key for Governor McMaster are those 28% who have yet to form an opinion of his job performance. More than a quarter of South Carolinians are taking a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude in these early months of his administration, but, among those who express an opinion, it is more favorable than unfavorable.” McMaster has announced plans to run for governor next year. Elected as the lieutenant governor in 2014, McMaster took over as governor on Jan. 24 after Trump tapped S.C. Governor Nikki Haley to be the United Nations ambassador.
The S.C. General Assembly got an approval nod from 47% of those polled while 38% disapprove of the job they’re doing.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s approval is nearly evenly split among all South Carolinians. He has a 45% approval rating and a 47% disapproval rating. His approval among Republicans, and those who lean Republican, stands at just under 50%. The state’s junior senator, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, is much more highly rated among the Republican base. He has a strong 82% approval rating among the GOP (including ‘Leaners’). Scott’s popularity among the general public remains high as well, with 60% reporting approval of the job he is doing.
South Carolinians have complex, and somewhat conflicting, views on equality of opportunity in our state. Fifty four percent say that they believe that all people in South Carolina have an equal chance to succeed if they work equally hard, yet, a plurality believe that people born into poverty are less likely to be in the middle class as an adult than someone who was born into the middle class if both persons put forth the same amount of effort in life. The implication of the latter finding is that those born into poverty must worker harder to end up in the middle class setting up a cognitive conflict with the former finding that most say equal work brings equal success.
South Carolina remains a faithful part of the Bible Belt. Forty seven percent of South Carolinians report attending worship services at least once a week compared to only 36% nationally, according to Pew. Additionally, nearly 70% report that religion is a ‘very important’ part of their life.