Poll: Haley's approval rating rises

Governor Nikki Haley
Governor Nikki Haley

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolinians are giving Governor Nikki Haley slightly higher marks on job performance since December, according to a new Winthrop Poll released Wednesday.

The poll of 1,038 respondents reported 43.7 percent of registered voters approve of the way Nikki Haley is handling her job as governor. 39.1 percent disapproved. In December, those numbers were nearly even. Among Republicans and Independents who are registered voters and lean Republican, her approval rating is almost 67 percent with only 16 percent disapproving.

The governor's approval rating has increased by approximately nine points since December, 2011 when 34.6 percent of SC voters approved of the job she was doing and 43 percent disapproved.

Governor Haley's spokesman said the governor is happy with the results. "Gov. Haley has always said that poll numbers go up and down," said Rob Godfrey. "But her focus is on the state's jobs numbers, and she's thrilled that they keep getting better and better."

Almost half of the South Carolina voters polled approve of the job President Obama is doing. Congress, however, received a low mark with more than 80 percent of registered voters disapproving of the way it is functioning.

Forty percent of voters approve of the performance of the South Carolina General Assembly.

Tea Party membership continues to remain much lower than 2010 highs. In numbers similar to the December poll, only about 1 in 10 Republicans and GOP leaning independents who are registered approve of the Tea Party consider themselves a member of the movement.  Overall, only about 6 percent of all registered voters consider themselves members of the Tea Party movement. While membership in the Tea Party remains steady from December 2012, approval of the movement continues to drop across the board.

The poll was taken between February 9-17.

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