Donald Trump’s South Carolina Problem

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5440609290/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Gage Skidmore</a>


In a Winthrop poll out today, presidential hopeful Donald Trump drops from his frontrunner status to third out of 12 potential GOP hopefuls, trailing Mike Huckabee by nearly 8 percent and Romney by five. Of course, Trump did beat out right-wing stars including Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul. But when it comes to primaries, third place won’t do much to help you win the party nomination.

Here’s how the GOP contenders stacked up in the poll:

Mike Huckabee 19.1 percent
Mitt Romney 16.6 percent
Donald Trump 11.3 percent
Newt Gingrich 8.1 percent
Sarah Palin 7.9 percent
Chris Christie 6.2 percent
Michele Bachmann 3.7 percent
Tim Pawlenty 2.1 percent
Ron Paul 2.1 percent
Herman Cain 2.1 percent
Haley Barbour 2.0 percent
Rick Santorum 1.8 percent
Not Sure 13.6 percent

Joshua Green at The Atlantic spoke with Winthrop polling guru Scott Huffmon, who had this to say about Trump’s standing in South Carolina:

He’s saying a lot of things that a lot of conservatives want to hear, but he’s saying it in a very heavy New York accent. A lot of South Carolina Republicans, I’m guessing, want to hear it in a different accent. Trump says a lot that I think people are enjoying hearing, but people liked the sound of Rudy Giuliani, too, and he was unable to gain traction in South Carolina. But Trump did best Sarah Palin by a little bit. So his name recognition alone is getting him somewhere.

The Winthrop poll comes hot on the heels of the Draft Trump 2012 operation’s hiring of Scott Royce, an attorney, as its South Carolina coordinator. According to the press release, “Royce has kept a keen eye on Republican politics since the mid-eighties when he worked as a political field director in New Hampshire for Jack Kemp’s presidential run in 1988,” among a few other stints in politics. Hmm, hardly seems like the guy to help The Donald win the South Carolina primary.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.