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SC1 Poll: Colbert Busch, Sanford Neck and Neck

First poll shows a race that could go either way.

The first independent poll on the First Congressional District race shows Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Republican Mark Sanford in a virtual dead heat.

Public Policy Polling, which tends to lean left, found Colbert Busch leading Sanford by 47 to 45 percent. Against Curtis Bostic, Colbert Busch is even at 43 percent each.

The full poll results can be viewed HERE.

Nevertheless, the results are a surprise as the 1st has been held by Republicans for more than 30 years. The seat was vacated by Tim Scott's appointment to the Senate by Nikki Haley in December. The general election is on May 7.

Sanford won the Republican primary on March 19 with 37 percent of the vote. He still must win a run-off against Bostic, a former Charleston County Councilman, on April 2 to earn the right to face Colbert Busch.

Against Bostic, the poll shows Sanford with a 53-40 lead.

The results indicate that the district may not be ready to forgive Sanford for his transgressions as governor. It also would seem to confirm the influence women, who make up a solid majority in the district, will have on the race.

Among Democrats, Colbert Busch has 89 percent of the vote. Sanford is not as popular with Republicans, as 76 percent support him, but 85 percent say they would vote for him in a general election.

Tellingly, Colbert Busch leads by 16-18 percent among independent voters.

The secret to the results are strongly linked to each candidate's favorable/unfavorable numbers. Colbert Busch's are 45/31 while Sanford's are 34/58.

"While the Republicans are fighting over ideological extremes rather than talking about what is right for South Carolina’s families and businesses, Elizabeth’s focus on creating new jobs, responsibly tackling our debt, and expanding our economic resources in South Carolina is resonating with the people of the 1st District," said James Smith, spokesman for the Colbert Busch campaign.

As far as individuals who could potentially influence the race, Stephen Colbert's favorable/unfavorable figures are at 36/27. 

Jenny Sanford continues to be wildly popular at 55/18.

Amanda Alpert Loveday, executive director of the South Carolina Democratic Party, told Patch, "It's no surprise that the 1st Congressional District is supporting Elizabeth Colbert Busch. She's a proven business woman who can bring new jobs to the district and represent South Carolina without embarrassment."

Michael Mule', a conservative consultant in the Lowcountry, cautioned against reading too much into the poll. 

"We must remember that there is still a primary run-off left," Mule' said. "If Gov. Sanford is the Republican nominee, the Democrats must remember this isn't a race for student council president where a celebrity brother will get you votes. This is a race for Congress, where accomplishments on the issues matter. Gov. Sanford has a proven record on tackling wasteful spending and fighting debt; Ms. Busch only has a celebrity brother."

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

reg March 27, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Public Policy Polling was rated as the most accurate polling source last year.
reg March 27, 2013 at 04:52 PM
He "KNOWS how to pinch pennies," you say? Like using our tax dollars to pay for his trips to Argentina? Our to cover the cost of his using the state plane to travel to a birthday party, or get a haircut? Or refusing our own federal tax dollars here in South Carolina, letting our money to go other states? We're not the ones to forgive Sanford's highly-publicized transgressions; that's a personal matter between him and Jenny, and is none of our business. What *IS* our business, though, is how he used our money for his own pleasures, and then threw our money away. I can forgive him for that --- but that doesn't mean I'll forget it. And it sure don't mean I'm going to hire him again. If I hired a babysitter to watch my child, and I come home to find my child unfed and unchanged, are you going to say I'm "not a true Christian" if I don't hire that babysitter again?
Ms.Dixie March 27, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Is it true Colbert lives and works in the upstate and only rents a home in SC-1? If true, by defintion, is she a "carpetbagger"?
reg March 27, 2013 at 06:17 PM
No, not true. Some think that because she works for Clemson University, that means she's upstate at the campus. However, she works for Clemson Restoration Institute, which is located in North Charleston. Her home is in Mt Pleasant.
Justin Farnsworth March 27, 2013 at 06:33 PM
"Public Policy Polling was rated as the most accurate polling source last year." Is that based on a poll done by Public Policy Polling? Kidding... To be honest I place zero credibility in a poll of 1175 "likely" voters out of the total that will turn out the final 1st district vote. Just not a very significant or meaningful data set.
reg March 27, 2013 at 06:43 PM
As one who conducts and evaluates surveys for a living, I can tell you that this is quite factual; see how sample sizes can be easily determined - http://www.raosoft.com/samplesize.html The variables in accuracy are only how correct distribution in demographics is -- if it were 40% folks under 30, it wouldn't be correct, for example. When you look at the body breakdown in this one, the one that I don't think is correct is the 45% R/30% D (or thereabouts). I think that's leaning toward GOP, actually, because other polls have it 42 R/40 D/17 independent in this district. So if Colbert Busch still does that well in this poll, and despite what I think is over-inclusion of one group, then that means she's doing pretty darn well in this race.
Justin Farnsworth March 27, 2013 at 07:15 PM
I do think it would be interesting to know how PPP got their list of individuals to contact in SC1...
reg March 27, 2013 at 07:19 PM
most likely the state election commission, which keeps records of all registered voters; that's public information.
Justin Farnsworth March 27, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Indeed...but you then have to determine if someone is a "likely" voter. How did they determine that? If based on voting in recent primaries, where those democratic or republican primaries, do their systems know that information before coming up with the sample, what other errors does this poll not take into acount, etc...? I emailed PPP just now to see what other information they could give. In all reality, it is probably just my hatred of undergrad and grad stats classes that turn me off of surveys like this in general, but obviously someone somewhere cares about them. ;-)
reg March 27, 2013 at 07:56 PM
One of the first few questions in such a poll ("filtering") is "how likely are you to participate in this election?" And this poll takes into account all types of potential errors and false responses, just like all polls do. That's where margins of error and confidence levels come into play. There are polling companies that operate on bogus grounds, of course, and not just those that do the obvious push polls. For example, Rasmussen --- it operates with no filtering of other potential errors, and its questions are clearly slanted to encourage particular responses. In 2004, that company kept reporting very distorted results from other polls; on the morning of the general election, though, it released completely different results of more accuracy --- Rasmussen then claimed it had some of the most accurate results (even though its previous ones were notably far off).
Terri Unknown March 27, 2013 at 08:46 PM
It would be a mistake if we put in Sanford. He's such a loser and it was clear as governor he didn't care about us. He's a liar and why should we believe him now? I like Elizabeth Colbert Busch very much. I hope she wins.
stanley seigler March 27, 2013 at 08:56 PM
would bet PPP or any (except the blatant biased) 'poller' ask more questions than justin has...but; we know old saw (disraeli maybe) say...lies, damn lies and stats... anyone know vegas or uk book...BTW uk bookies paid off on 2012 presidential race before it was called...
JoSCh March 28, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Is it true she was born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim?
JoSCh March 28, 2013 at 12:39 AM
I don't know if this is serious or funny, but I laughed. Well done.
keepyourpower March 28, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Stanley...maybe they knew about the blatant fraud.
Sean March 28, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Good ole reg. Only reg could post that SC1 is equally divided between pubs and dems and yet 80% of the voters in the primary last week voted for a pub.
reg March 28, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Only Sean would take turnout for a primary race in a special election to indicate voter distribution. Are you hoping to insinuate that Busch won't get more than 20%? Come on ... let's make a bet!
Sean March 28, 2013 at 01:51 AM
JoSCh 8:38 pm on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Is it true she was born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim? Not sure about that. :-) We do know she would vote with Nancy Pelosi on social issues. Nuff said.
Ron Stoklosa March 28, 2013 at 01:33 PM
I think it is a great idea to pick the candidate with political experience because the same tired ideas that keep South Carolina in the bottom of most polls "thank God for Mississippi" is just what we need. The corridor of shame gets help from experienced politicians all the time. Trickle down economics does not really mean its raining on the middle class I believe it's something else!
JoSCh March 28, 2013 at 02:26 PM
It's not enough said. You've exposed yourself as an authoritarian that will accept false statements if they support your ideology, but I'd like to see you expose all of your awfulness. C'mon man, unleash it.
masonhenry March 29, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Who can win is not the issue, and never ought to be, among thoughtful voters. Nor should thoughtful voters be concerned with whether a candidate can "bring home the pork." What should concern voters is whether the new representative will go to the seat of government and do everything possible to make it smaller and less intrusive!
JoSCh March 29, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Smaller and less intrusive aren't the only issues among truly thoughtful voters.
stanley seigler March 29, 2013 at 07:30 PM
re: make it smaller and less intrusive! mostly agree butbutt: how about more efficient and effective... what does smaller mean...cutting already under funded support programs the disabled...cutting mental health care programs... and there are conflicting ideas re less intrusive...ie, some want to intrude on a woman's body (their right to choice)...some want to tell homosexuals who they can marry...others want to put prayer in schools...and then there are those who want to intrude in one's right to vote...
Rusty Inman April 02, 2013 at 01:18 PM
@keepyourpower: It's a real struggle to not be judgmental toward people that you accuse of being judgmental, isn't it?
JoSCh April 02, 2013 at 03:30 PM
That's how you can tell a REAL true Christian, they accuse others of not being true Christians. Jesus wept.
keepyourpower April 02, 2013 at 03:49 PM
@ reg @Rusty Inman @JoSCh... I refuse to do a battle of wits with unarmed people! You are blind sheeple who will rue the day you voted for the wrong people.
JoSCh April 02, 2013 at 03:54 PM
lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GP1KHL0j0GU#t=61s
reg April 02, 2013 at 04:01 PM
I love it -- when keepers' unChristian "Christian" argument gets responses, and which cite specifics that counter keepers' claims, keepers just tries to write it off as "unarmed," "blind", and "wrong."
JoSCh April 02, 2013 at 04:37 PM
In her defense she is a REAL true Christian. They can't help it.
Ajay Jain May 04, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Watch the ONLY debate between Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford and decide who to vote for! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpPy5u7EszM

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