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South Carolina Democrats undecided in Senate primaries

A large majority of Democratic voters in South Carolina have yet to decide on Senate candidates.
A large majority of Democratic voters in South Carolina have yet to decide on Senate candidates.
image created with use of state flag (public domain)

South Carolina’s primary elections are only six days away, but Democrats still haven’t decided which of their party’s candidates they’ll support in either U.S. Senate race, according to a Clemson Univ. poll. Released June 4, the “Palmetto Poll” surveyed 400 self-identified Democrats who frequently participate in primary contests, in which the party selects its nominees for later general elections.

Over three-quarters (79 percent) are undecided and don’t know who to support in the race to challenge Sen. Tim Scott. Joyce Dickerson was selected by 11 percent of respondents, leading Sidney Moore (seven percent) and Harry Pavilack (three percent).

Almost 90 percent are undecided in the other Senate race. State Sen. Brad Hutto was picked by eight percent of respondents, with Jay Stamper scoring three in the contest to vie for Sen. Lindsey Graham’s seat.

Hutto’s team is quick to point out the survey was completed the day before the campaign’s advertisements, which include television ads and mailings, began distribution. Still, “we’re not taking anything for granted,” said Lachlan McIntosh with the Hutto campaign.

Hutto also recently received endorsement from the state Democratic Party, the first ever offered by SCDP.

Graham should be safe in the Republican primary, the poll found. The incumbent was selected by 49 percent – a 40-percent lead over state Sen. Lee Bright, the nearest of his six primary opponents. Thirty-five percent remain undecided. Only 46 percent of Republican voters confirm support of Graham in November’s general election, though.

In response to other poll questions, 46 percent of Democrats in South Carolina find the nation to be moving in the right direction, but only 27 percent believe that for the state. Republican respondents hold the opposite opinion, though; 86 percent said the country is moving in the wrong direction, while 63 percent regard South Carolina to be on the right track.

The poll of Democratic voters was conducted from May 26 to June 2, and has a +/- 6 percent margin of error. The primary election is set for June 10.