PPP's new South Carolina poll finds that Tim Scott has quickly become the state's most popular politician- and is already one of the most popular Senators in the country in their home state. 50% of voters approve of the job Scott is doing to only 23% who disapprove. 72% of Republicans approve of the job he's doing, while only 45% of Democrats disapprove. That bucks the trend we see with most major politicians these days where they're as unpopular with the other party as they are popular with their own.
Scott's not on anyone's list of vulnerable Senators up for reelection next year, and our polling reinforces that he shouldn't be. In extremely hypothetical match ups with former Governor Jim Hodges (54/32), 2014 Lieutenant Governor candidate Bakari Sellers (56/28), and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott (55/27) Scott leads by anywhere from 22 to 28 points.
Nikki Haley's approval comes in at 51/38, the highest numbers we've found for her since she took office. Voters are strongly opposed to her plan to raise the gas tax though. Just 20% support it to 69% who are opposed and even among Republican voters there's 19/71 opposition. When you couch the gas tax increase as solely being to repair roads, support still rises to only 32% with 55% opposed.
South Carolina may be a GOP state but on the issue of how to pay for road repairs voters are siding with the Democrats. By a 50/36 spread they support casinos in the state, and asked whether they'd rather road repairs were paid for by opening casinos or increasing the gas tax voters pick casinos by a 58/26 margin. There's a bipartisan consensus for casinos over the gas tax with Democrats (63/22), independents (58/28), and Republicans (53/28) all strongly preferring it.
We find South Carolina voters taking a more moderate stance on a few other key issues right now as well. There is 76/14 support for a law preventing domestic abusers from buying guns and 64/24 support for one making those people turn in any guns they currently own. In addition to overwhelming support from Democrats and independents, majorities of Republicans (71/17 and 54/31 respectively) support each of those measures as well. There's also a strong consensus among voters in the state (61/27) that guns should not be allowed on college campuses.