Influential Republicans in South Carolina and two other early-voting states feel Michele Bachmann has gained the most ground recently following her showing in last week’s GOP debate and the Iowa Straw Poll.
One-third of those responding to the new Patch-HuffPost Power Outsiders poll of influential voters in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina said Bachmann was seen as having done the most good for her campaign last week. Bachmann was in the Upstate on Tuesday and will be visiting Columbia today and Charleston next Thursday.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who entered the presidential race on Saturday in Charleston and will return to the state this weekend, finished second with 30 percent.
Mitt Romney -– who has been leading the polls in South Carolina despite not yet making an appearance here -– finished at 8 percent.
Our Patch editors will be asking influential South Carolina Republicans questions about the presidential race each week, and we’ll report the results here. The goal is to get a read on what real Republicans are thinking, and some early insight into who will win the nomination.
For more on this project, read the full report on our three-state survey.
As senior polling editor Mark Blemental writes, "We are calling our participants 'Power Outsiders' because these are the people outside-the-beltway who have local influence -- which means real power -- as the election heats up ... Their opinions will likely have great influence on the outcome of caucuses, primaries and elections at the precinct, county and state levels."
We’re still looking to expand our list of influential members of both parties in South Carolina. If you’d like to participate, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll connect you with the appropriate Patch reporter.