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RASMUSSEN POLL: McMaster “runs best” against leading Democrat in 2010 governor’s race

December 5, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – According to a poll of South Carolina voters released today by Rasmussen Reports, an independent polling group, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster holds a significant lead over State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex.  Rasmussen found Rex to be the strongest Democratic candidate at this early stage in the campaign.

“Attorney General Henry McMaster runs best against Rex, beating him by seven points, 39% to 32%,” Rasmussen said.  According to Rasmussen, the race was tighter with the other potential Republican nominees, and the pollster went on to predict that the governor’s race could end up being “quite competitive” if Rex is the Democratic nominee.

A spokesman for the McMaster campaign said predictions of a close race in November are premature.  “Scott Rasmussen is a highly respected pollster, and we are very pleased to see his latest poll shows Attorney General McMaster ahead by seven points,” said Richard Quinn, McMaster’s consultant.  “Our internal polls show McMaster has an even more commanding lead.”

“However, with the election nearly a year away and with such a large number of undecided voters, it’s too early to suggest that Jim Rex or any other Democratic candidate will run a close race with McMaster,” said Quinn.

Voters who are prepared to pick a candidate eleven months before the election are mostly those who are either strongly Republican or strongly Democrat.  Independent and more casual voters are likely to be undecided in early polling.  “Using history as a guide, in South Carolina, independent voters typically end up voting 70-75% Republican,” Quinn said.  “That is very likely to happen again in November 2010.”

“South Carolina is still a very strong Republican state,” Quinn said.  “And with the abysmal job Jim Rex is doing as Superintendent of Education, we welcome a comparison with the record of success Henry McMaster has achieved as Attorney General.”

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