Presidential candidate Donald Trump has greater chances among those who will likely cast a vote in South Carolina’s Republican primary this Saturday.
A report from a CNN/ORC Poll states that Trump has a 16-point lead, or roughly 38 percent of the vote in South Carolina. Following Trump’s lead are Texas Senator Ted Cruz with 22 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 14 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 10 percent.
The poll has also revealed that the Republican candidate is the top choice when it comes to policy issues such as the economy, illegal immigration, foreign policy, and the Islamic State. On social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, Trump did not make it to the top.
While the voters in South Carolina say they don’t trust Trump on social issues and on foreign policy, it seems that Trump is one of the preferred candidates.
The CNN report further suggests that Trump’s support may have dwindled somewhat after last Saturday’s debate among the GOP candidates. “In interviews conducted before the debate, 40 percent backed Trump, compared to 31 percent who said they supported him after the raucous matchup between the remaining candidates in the field,” the report states.
Despite Trump’s lead in the polls, there are still those who are hesitant to vote for him.
For instance, Robert Bowles, a 50-year-old debt collector, said that Trump had gone “overboard just a little bit” the moment he attacked former President George W. Bush and claimed that the former president failed to stop the September 11 attacks and lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
“He’s not a polished politician,” Bowers said, referring to Trump’s appeal and liability.
Another fan said he hopes that Trump will drop an “F-bomb.”
Last Monday night, Trump’s supporters gathered around in Greenville during a campaign rally.
During the rally, Trump once again reiterated his criticism of President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and how it has resulted in what is happening at present.
“We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. That was a big mistake because it destabilized the whole Middle East,” Trump said. “Some people say ‘Oh, don’t say that.'”
“Everything you see right now is an offshoot of that decision,” he added.
After moving on to another issue, Trump returned to the Iraq topic. This time, he praised Saddam Hussein for being able to keep Iraq from disintegrating.
“Saddam Hussein killed terrorists,” Trump said. “He didn’t do it politically correct. He found a terrorist, they were gone within five seconds, OK. With us, we find a terrorist, it’s going to be 25 years and a trial.”
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton leads by 18 points in South Carolina’s Democrat primary. The CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday revealed Clinton leading by 56 percent, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 38 percent.
However, things could get rough for Clinton, as some people included in the 56 percent said they could still change their minds before the election. If this becomes the case, Mr. Sanders would have a better chance of winning, especially since he has already started building momentum after his victory in the New Hampshire primary.
The poll further showed that Clinton does better among voters in handling policy issues related to the economy, foreign relations, guns, and race relations. In addition, the voters also believe – as reflected in the poll – that Clinton “best represented their values and overwhelmingly expect her to win the state.”
If Clinton wins in South Carolina, it would boost her chances of winning the nomination by helping her to get back on track especially since she has been struggling with earlier states. The earlier states – which had a wide group of young voters – prefer Sanders over Clinton. Winning in South Carolina would help her convince the rest of the voters that she is trustworthy, even after revelations about her private email server.
[Image from Andrew Burton, Alex Wong Getty Images]