COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Current Winthrop Polls show that citizens are in support of BOTH the Dominion and SCANA deal and the repeal of the Baseload Review Act.
At the Creekside Restaurant in Lexington, Larry Johnson enjoyed a stack of pancakes Monday morning. He's hopeful he'll soon have a stack of cash to go along with them.
"I would definitely pay off some bills. It would help. That's the main thing, so like I said, I like the sound of that," he said.
He likes the sound of Dominion Energy's pitch to buy SCANA – the utility in dire straits after an expensive nuclear project went belly-up. Dominion would buy the company, give customers slightly lower rates, and mail out thousand dollar refund checks to SCE&G customers.
Another diner, Vance Hickman, hopes that'll happen too.
"I'm for Dominion taking over," Hickman said. "SCANA's run its course. They've ripped the people of South Carolina off for long enough."
A new Winthrop Poll shows those diners aren't alone.
Out of everyone polled, 57% support the deal to sell SCANA and SCE&G to Dominion Energy. 23% are opposed, and 15% aren't sure.
However, somewhat contradictorily, it also shows that most people want lawmakers to repeal the law that allowed rates to be raised in the first place – higher rates Dominion needs for next two decades so it can pay off some of the nuclear debt.
When asked if they support or oppose the repeal of the Base Load Review Act, 48% of respondents said they support the repeal; 30% said they oppose it.
"It's really not that surprising that, you know, people want their cake and to eat it too," said Dr. Scott Huffmon, of Winthrop University, who conducted the poll.
Still, even if they have to keep paying for the failed reactors, Johnson and Hickman want the Dominion deal.
"Everything needs change and everything progresses," Hickman said. "With SCANA, we're not progressing. We're steady going in the hole."
Lawmakers WIS talked to see things differently. They said the poll is a reflection on how much Dominion has spent on advertising its deal to people across the state -- through TV, newspaper, and radio ads.
Senator Mike Fanning (D-Fairfield) said the campaign was "slick, deceptive," and only told half the story. He believes the poll reflects that. He said he's encouraged, however, that the majority of people polled are for the Base Load Review Act repeal.
Rep. Russell Ott (D-Calhoun) and Rep. Nathan Ballentine (R-Richland) agreed that the poll shows the effects of Dominion's intense media campaign.
"A poll can say what you want it to say sometimes," Ott said.
Representative Micah Caskey (R-Lexington) was more blunt.
"I don't put any stock at all in the Winthrop Poll," he said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Richland) also pointed out the contradiction that even though most people polled support the Dominion deal they're for repealing the Base Load Review Act.
He said the poll simply shows that people have been drawn in by the promise of the thousand dollar refund.
"People are all for the party until they realize they're getting the bill," Finlay said.