South Carolina Bounce For McCain, But Not Clinton
Here’s our wrap of the first round of polls in the next states that have primaries and, having been suitably chastened by the lessons of New Hampshire, take these with a grain of salt. (And if you want to check out a quick tutorial on evaluating polls, here are some resources).
The clearest message of the polls is that John McCain has got a big New Hampshire bounce in South Carolina, but Hillary Clinton so far has not.
Some of the polls reviewed here were conducted before the New Hampshire results. Two polls in Michigan differ on who is ahead on the GOP side and how close the contest is, while there is nothing of interest to report on the Democrats due to the fracas between the national party and Michigan about having moved up its voting date. We reported on the Michigan polls last night, and you can find them here.
**South Carolina (GOP primary on Jan. 19, Dems on Jan. 29):** A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows McCain is now the front-runner with 25 percent, followed by Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee at 18 percent and Mitt Romney at 17 percent. Fred Thompson, who has made clear the South Carolina outcome is key to his fortunes, captures the support of 9 percent, while Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul both receive 5 percent. The margin of error is 4 percent. Read the story here and the full poll here.
The Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Jan. 9, after the New Hampshire primary, shows McCain with a narrow three-point lead over Huckabee with Romney a distant third at 16 percent and Thompson at 12 percent. Although the margin of error is 4 percent, it’s a big reversal since Sunday when Huckabee led by 7 points. If the numbers on the Democratic side can be believed, Clinton did not get a bounce from New Hampshire because Obama still leads her by 42 percent to 30 percent with Edwards at 15 percent. The margin of error is 4 percent.
An InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion survey conducted Jan. 7, before New Hampshire, had Huckabee leading McCain 31 percent to 21 percent, with Romney at 14 percent and Giuliani way in back with 8 percent. The margin of error is 4 percent. On the Democratic side, Obama leads Clinton 40 percent to 33 percent with John Edwards at 15 percent. The margin of error is 5 percent.
**Florida (Jan. 29):** The two polls here were both conducted before the New Hampshire vote. A poll by Datamar Inc. conducted Jan. 5-7, has Clinton leading Obama 40.3 percent to 28.1 percent. Edwards had 19.4 percent. The margin of error was 4.2 percent. On the Republican side, Huckabee leads Romney 23.9 percent to 19.5 percent with McCain at 17.9 percent and Giuliani, who has staked much on this state, slipping into fourth at 16.4 percent. The margin of error is 4.5 percent.
The InsiderAdvantage survey, conducted Jan. 7, still had Giuliani leading with 24 percent followed by Huckabee at 19 percent, Romney at 13 percent and Thompson at 8 percent. The margin of error was 5.5 percent. Among Democrats, Clinton led Obama 40 percent to 32 percent, with Edwards at 9 percent. The margin of error was 6 percent.