In 2016, former President Donald Trump won South Carolina by ten points, but his current advantage dwarfs that margin. During the 4th of July holiday weekend, Trump held a rally in Pickens, South Carolina, which received the most ballots for Trump in the state during the 2020 election.
Depending on local or state reports, the small southern town was overrun with 30,000 to 50,000 attendees, some of whom slept on the street to be closer to the podium the following day.
South Carolina, a red state that will hold the first presidential primary in the South on February 24, 2024, is the home state of two other Republican candidates, former Governor Nikki Haley and SC Senator Time Scott. Trump, however, is the frontrunner in the Palmetto State.
Fox Business released a poll on Monday indicating that Trump has a 34-point lead in South Carolina, with more than half of respondents believing he will be the best candidate to vanquish President Joe Biden.
The outlet added:
The new poll, released Sunday, finds almost half of South Carolina likely Republican primary voters backing Trump in the 2024 primary contest (48%). That number is slightly larger (51%) among those who say they will definitely vote in the February 24 primary.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has 14%, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with 13% and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott with 10%. No other candidate receives ten or more votes.
“Even though it’s still early, Trump is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in this race,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducted the Fox Business poll along with Democrat Chris Anderson. “The initial challenge is to see who can become the non-Trump candidate, and in South Carolina, that’s currently a three-way race among DeSantis, Haley, and Scott.”
Fox Business added that, among various groups, Trump receives the most support from those who identify as extremely conservative (57%), voters under the age of 45 (55%), voters without a college degree (53%), rural voters (52%) and White evangelicals (52%).
Like Trump, DeSantis receives the most support from those who identify as extremely conservative. In contrast, moderates in the state provide the most support for Haley and Scott.
When asked about their second preference, the majority of Trump supporters selected DeSantis (33%), followed by Scott (17%) and Haley (15%). Trump was the second choice of 38% of DeSantis supporters, followed by Scott (29%) and Haley (19%). 38% of Haley supporters chose Scott as their second-choice candidate.
“Still, Trump leads among both groups (electability vs. shares views) by more than 40 points,” the outlet noted.
Overall, 51% of South Carolina Republican primary voters believe Trump is the most qualified candidate to defeat Biden in November. Conservative Brief reports that DeSantis follows with 17% support, while no other candidates reach double digits.
Conservative Brief continued:
When asked about their level of support for certain candidates, nearly 6 in 10 respondents express that they would “definitely” support Trump (57%). For Haley, Scott, and DeSantis, approximately 3 in 10 respondents say they would “definitely” support them, with percentages at 28%, 28%, and 27%, respectively.
The highest percentage of respondents who said they would “never” vote for the former Vice President is Mike Pence (38%). Additionally, 20% of respondents hold the same opinion about businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Trump, DeSantis, and Haley.
Slightly more than half of primary voters (51%) indicate that economic issues, such as inflation, employment, and taxation, will have the greatest impact on their vote for the nomination. Foreign policy/defense concerns, immigration concerns such as border security, and social concerns such as abortion, religion, and gender tie for second place with 12% each. At 7%, populist concerns such as corruption and elite authority rank lowest.
Fox News will present the first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate on August 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During a July 16 interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Trump disclosed that he had not yet “made up his mind” about attending the event, the outlet reported.
Trump has since implied that he may settle down for a one-on-one interview with Tucker Carlson on August 23, the same evening as the first Republican primary debate. According to a recent report by Vanity Fair, the former president is contemplating an appearance on Carlson’s popular Twitter program.
“One idea Trump is mulling is to sit for an interview with Tucker Carlson on his Twitter show at the same time as the debate, two sources briefed on the discussions said. According to one source, Trump recently reached out to Carlson and asked if Carlson would do the interview, but no decisions have been made,” Vanity Fair reported.
The attacks on the former president in the form of legal attempts to sidetrack his campaign and discredit him have served to rally supporters behind the unique businessman. Posting after a town hall event, Trump stated, “MAGA! There’s never been more spirit than we have right now.”