(PPP)– Yesterday we put out a poll on Lindsey Graham’s standing with the entire South Carolina electorate. Today we narrow it down to those describing themselves as regular Republican primary voters.
52% of them say that given the choice they’d pick a more conservative challenger in the 2014 GOP primary, compared to only 37% who say they’d support Graham under that scenario.
RINO hunters, mount up.
It’s a pretty simple calculus- Graham leads 47-40 on that question with Republicans who say they don’t consider themselves to be members of the Tea Party but he trails 76-18 with folks who identify with that movement.
The Tea Party faction of the Republican Party has become more and more powerful since Graham dispatched a relatively weak primary challenger in 2008 and if the fever doesn’t die down over the next three years he’s going to be in serious trouble in a primary.
One person Graham doesn’t have to worry about too much as a potential challenger though is Mark Sanford. Graham leads the former Governor 52-34 in a hypothetical contest, holding an advantage with both moderates and conservatives. It appears that Sanford’s personal indiscretions outweigh Graham’s ideological indiscretions with the Republican electorate- even among GOP voters 46% say there’s no way they’d ever support Sanford for office in the future, compared to just 14% who say they’d be firmly behind him.
Graham trails though in a match up against another of South Carolina’s somewhat notorious Republicans, Joe Wilson of ‘you lie’ fame. Wilson leads Graham 43-41 in a hypothetical contest, winning the conservative voters who dominate Republican primaries in the state by a 52-31 margin.