There was a lot of discussion as Mark Sanford left office about the possibility that he might run for office again sometime in the future. If that's going to happen there will need to be some serious mind changing about him among South Carolina voters. They think he was a bad Governor and a majority of voters in the state say they would definitely never vote for him ever again.
Asked to reflect on his eight years in office only 39% of South Carolinians express approval of the work Sanford did, while 49% disapprove. Democrats are far more unified, at 71%, in their feeling that Sanford did a bad job than Republicans are, at 57%, in saying that Sanford's work was good. Independents split against the former Governor by a 53/39 margin as well.
More damning for Sanford's future though is that 55% of voters in the state say there's no way they'd vote for him for something ever again. Only 11% commit to supporting him for some future office while 32% say they wold consider the possibility. We see a lot of amazing comebacks in politics but recovering from a majority of voters saying they'd never vote for him ever again would be quite a tall order for Sanford.
South Carolinians are giving Sanford's successor, Nikki Haley, positive marks for her performance so far. 36% of voters think she's doing a good job to 24% who disapprove with the largest group of voters at 40% expressing no opinion, not a great surprise given how new she is to the office. As you would expect Republicans like what they're seeing and Democrats don't. Breaking the tie is independents who express favor for what she's done to date by a 37/21 margin.
Lindsey Graham has slightly positive approval numbers, with 40% approving of the job he's doing to 37% who disapprove. In quite an unusual twist for a Republican Senator his 39% approval with liberals is higher than his 32% mark with conservatives. Graham continues to be one of the most popular Senators in the country with the other party, as only 38% of Democrats disapprove of him while almost as many at 31% approve. But he also continues to be one of the most unpopular Senators in the country with his own party, as only 43% of Republicans approve of him to 36% who disapprove.
Graham's crossover support means that he's virtually unbeatable in a general election. Getting to November may be the bigger challenge for him and we'll have numbers later this week looking more specifically at how the Republican primary electorate in South Carolina is feeling about him these days.
Full results here