Sen. Lindsay Graham has a little less to worry about in the run-up to the 2014 GOP primaries, but it may be a general election nail biter for Gov. Nikki Haley, according to the latest poll numbers from Public Policy Polling.
Released Tuesday morning, the poll shows State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) defeating the governor in a hypothetical rematch, 46 percent to 44 percent.
Yesterday, the polling firm released numbers suggesting Haley's troubles lie with independents and Democrats, pointing to a 42 approval rating.
It was no different in today's results, with Sheheen taking 51 percent of the independent voters polled, along with 15 percent of GOP voters.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said the governor calls these polls a "sideshow."
"They go up and down, while she stays focused on bringing jobs to South Carolina and fixing a state government badly in need of repair," Godfrey said.
Amanda Loveday, Executive Director of the South Carolina Democratic Party issued the following statement in response to the polling:
"This poll not only proves Senator Sheheen's popularity but most importantly, how the people of South Carolina don't trust Nikki Haley. Over the past two years, Governor Haley has given thousands of jobs and revenue to Georgia with the dredging of the Savannah Port and put over 3 million South Carolinians in danger of having their identity stolen through the DOR computer hacking scandal.
"This poll proves that the people of South Carolina want a governor they can trust, who is focused on the state and its issues not a Governor who cares about her personal success and national recognition."
In the other race, Graham is strengthening his position among Republicans as he prepares for what could be a bruising primary challenge from his right.
Earlier this year, the Club for Growth named Graham a "top target" for 2014.
Specific numbers against regional challengers like reps. Tim Scott, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney are a testament to Graham's hard work repairing his conservative credential. But it is also an indication of the challenge in wrestling statewide support away from an incumbent.