Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007
Carolinians mirroring national parties on issues
NOV. 4, 2007 - - Perhaps the most interesting thing to come
out of the new Winthrop/ETV
political poll is how South Carolina's partisans mirror
Throughout October, researchers phoned more than 1,500 registered
voters, almost 500 of whom were not included in final results
because they weren't identified as likely voters in the 2008
presidential primaries. Either they were members of other
parties, were independents or weren't sure they would even
vote. In other words, about a third of those contacted identified
as Republicans, a third as Democrats and a third as something
else - - the three-way split that most political observers
say is the true reflection of the electorate as a whole.
you'd like to read the latest Winthrop/ ETV poll, click
Those who completed interviews - - 522 likely GOP primary
voters and 534 likely Democratic primary voters - - tended
to include more true believers of their political parties,
noted Winthrop pollster Scott Huffmon.
"The hard core partisans are mirroring the national
party lines in these issues on things in ways you wouldn't
see with weaker partisans and moderates in the sample,"
With South Carolinians often priding themselves on independence,
stubbornness and taking a different path, it was a little
surprising how likely voters here so strongly reflected national
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For example, when asked whether they approved or disapproved
on how President Bush was performing, 62 percent of Republicans
approved along with 8 percent of Democrats. Mirroring national
figures, though, some 88 percent of Democrats - seven out
of eight -- disapproved (along with 23 percent of Republicans.)
Similar partisan splits were in opinions on the war in Iraq.
Two in three Republicans, but only 10 percent of Democrats,
said the war made the country safer. Some 78 percent of Democrats
and 22 percent of Republicans said it created additional security
Finally, key issues of importance among likely Democratic
primary voters in South Carolina were similar to people across
the country: Iraq war (30.8 percent), health care (24.8) and
the economy (8.3). Among GOP primary voters, top issues were
more spread out, but indicated a vastly different mindset:
Illegal immigration (18.2 percent), Iraq (16.4), economy (8.4),
security/terrorism (7.8) and health care (7.6).
Now, let's look at the poll's horse race results where Fred
Thompson was narrowly ahead of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani
among Republicans while Hillary Clinton remained on top in
the Democratic field. For better or worse, here are our observations:
likely Republican voters in SC:
Thompson. While Thompson hasn't been in the race long,
the more the former senator from Tennessee opens his mouth,
the more votes he seems to lose. He also seems to be the laziest
candidate in the race, judging by his seeming lack of enthusiasm.
By the time the GOP primary comes along, he'll be trailing.
Romney. After hiring some of the smartest and meanest
SC consultants and spending jillions of dollars, Romney is
the one to watch in South Carolina. While some are spouting
that the Mormon former governor isn't a "real Christian,"
his views were good enough for Bob Jones III in Greenville.
Giuliani. New York's former mayor does well as "Captain
America" when talking about September 11, terrorism and
security. But his personal life story isn't as attractive,
which may be why his poll numbers are dropping some in South
John McCain. The Arizona senator who got burned by
the Bushies in 2000 is back to his former "straight talk"
self, but his time seems to have passed.
likely Democratic voters in SC:
Clinton. Short of putting a big foot in her mouth,
Clinton seems to be on a roll in South Carolina. But now that
other candidates are attacking her "electability"
in November, her solid lead may wither in the important next
Obama. The freshman senator from Illinois has a great
statewide campaign organization, but he's not really connecting
yet. He'd better start drawing blood soon and stop seeming
like a professor or South Carolina won't be his breakthrough
John Edwards. The South Carolina native who won here
four years ago had less than 10 percent of Democratic primary
voters, a sure sign that he's fading here like elsewhere.
Undecided. Almost 30 percent of voters on both sides
were undecided. They'll be the deciders.
Prognostication: It's a little early to step out on
a limb, but look for a Clinton-Bill Richardson ticket for
Democrats and a Romney-led GOP ticket to have a national congressional
leader as a running mate.
Andy Brack, publisher of Statehouse Report,
can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
known as the Iodine State
The chemical element iodine derives its name from the
violet color of its gaseous form. A rare element (sixty-second
in global abundance), it occurs naturally as a trace chemical
in certain soils, rocks, seawater, plants, and animals.
In humans, it is largely found in the thyroid gland, which
secretes iodine-bearing hormones responsible for regulating
metabolism. A deficiency of iodine causes an unsightly
swelling of the neck and jaw known as a goiter.
Statehouse Report has partnered with USC
Press to provide readers with an interesting
weekly historical excerpt about the state. Each
excerpt, which is used with permission and not for
republication, is taken from The
South Carolina Encyclopedia, a 1,077-page
book published in 2006 with entries by almost 600
contributors and edited by noted historian Walter
Edgar. We hope you enjoy this new feature.
In the late 1920s, the South Carolina Natural Resources
Commission began a public relations campaign to advertise
the high iodine levels found in fruits and vegetables
grown in the state. Even South Carolina milk was promoted
as containing extraordinarily high levels of iodine. Promotional
tracts sought to expand the national market for South
Carolina produce by warning midwestern and west coast
residents of the consequences of iodine deficiency in
the young, including enlarged thyroids, mental and physical
birth defects, and even sterility. The campaign placed
the motto Iodine on South Carolina automobile
license plates in 1930, then expanded the phrase in subsequent
years to The Iodine State and The Iodine
Products State. Columbia radio station WIS took
its call letters to promote the Wonderful Iodine
State. Even Lowcountry moonshiners around Hell Hole
Swamp jumped on the iodine bandwagon, advertising their
brand of liquid corn with the slogan: Not a Goiter
in a Gallon.
Despite the promotional gimmicks, South Carolina agriculture
saw little benefit from the iodine campaign. With the
advent of iodized salt in the 1940s, Americans had a convenient
dietary supplement and demand for foods high in iodine
Another great cartoon by Bill McLemore:
10/31: Brack makes scary assumptions
To Statehouse Report:
I read your
article in the CRBJ and found it to be interesting. You
sure do make a ton of assumptions and underestimate the power
of the people with their own money back in their pocket.
Guys like you scare the crap out of me. Government, whether
State or Federal, has never spent money in an appropriate
manner. Politicians care about one thing: Getting re-elected.
When the government runs a surplus, you know something is
wrong. It is should always be a balanced budget or in the
hole. It is not their money. It is ours.
I think folks forget that on a regular basis. Maybe you should
offer more of your pay check as sign of good faith to the
boys in the Statehouse. Start the trend. Just 2 pennies from
a pool guy and small business man.
-- Michael Greer, Summerville, SC
Not removed on all grocery taxes
To Statehouse Report:
Please - Not grocery taxes but unprepared food taxes (that
can be procured by food stamps). There is a difference -
-- Bob Henderson, North Charleston, SC
NOTE: Mr. Henderson is referring to a sentence
More money won't help schools
To Statehouse Report:
School Districts get 7.5% of all their funds from owner occupied
homes. This means your house taxes would have to go up at
least 12 times more than your 2006 tax bill. All property
taxes collected make up 37.5% of the Districts total funds.
The other 62.5% comes from State, Federal and other sources.The
School Boards are crying wolf about owner occuped [sic]
homes because the operating cost on these homes are less than
Examples: Lexington One has 18,682 Students; they spend $8,920.00
per student, with an average SAT score of 1060. Richland One
has 24,593 Students, spends $16,257.00 per student and a average
SAT score of 960.
How does your district preform? [sic] All these figures
come from the South Carolina Dept. of Education,s website.
It would be fair if the State board of Education required
all student's and Teacher's to random drug tests . That way
it would insure no drug's in school period. It would make
sports and teaching much safer and productive and one less
excuse in the State for being last in Education
The conclusion is that more money does not improve education--it
starts in the home at a very early age. Until the lower scoring
schools takes the blame off of the teachers, funding and what
ever other excuse they can come up with. Nothing will ever
-- David Whetsell, Lexington, SC
NOTE: Mr. Whetsell is responding to this
Venture program will have positive impact
To Statehouse Report:
In response to your recent
commentary, I wanted to point out that the South Carolina
Venture Capital Investment Authority will not negatively impact
the tax collection for state government next year. You are
correct in that the program was created using $50 million
in state tax credits but they have not been exercised. Instead,
the Venture Capital Authority Board borrowed the $50 million
using the potential tax credits as collateral. Our board does
not anticipate these tax credits being used in the next couple
of budget years if ever. The programs intent
is that the monies committed to venture capital firms will
help create good jobs as they are invested in South Carolina
companies. If that happens, the program will not only have
a positive impact on our economy, but ultimately also have
a positive impact on state government revenues in this and
future budget years.
-- Chad Walldorf, chairman, South Carolina Venture Capital
Authority, Mount Pleasant, SC
needed to strengthen state, Roxanne Walker, Greenville,
power makes sense, Barbara Measter, Seabrook Island,
for tax breaks, Bob Logan, Little River, SC
needs affordable medical help, birth control, Roxanne
Walker, Greenville, SC
good points in sex Ed column, Anne Badgley, Charleston,
insurance companies want to cancel policies, Dan
Norfleet, Summerville, SC
is tip of iceberg, John P. Ford, Sumter, SC
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Report gives an inside practical report of weekly problems
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In each issue of Statehouse Report, you'll get:
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