By John Celock
A new poll shows that South Carolina Republican voters want home state senator, Lindsey Graham to drop his long shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
A Public Policy Poll released Wednesday shows that 78 percent of GOP primary voters in South Carolina want the third term senator to end his presidential bid, compared to 15 percent who want him to remain in the race. The poll also shows Graham in a four way tie for eighth place in the state with three percent of the vote.
Graham, an ally of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, entered the race earlier this year with a heavy emphasis on his signature defense and foreign policy issues, along with a more moderate stance in the large GOP field. Graham has generally trailed in national polls along with polls in the first states of Iowa and New Hampshire and was in the second tier candidate debate last month.
The poll indicated that Graham’s foray into presidential politics has hurt his job approval ratings in his home state. The poll showed that while 54 percent of voters surveyed in February approved of his job performance in the Senate, only 36 percent approved in September.
This is not Graham’s first national foray. He has been a fixture on Sunday morning shows for years and has long made national security issues a top priority. He also was a frequent surrogate for McCain during the 2008 campaign. Graham will not be up for reelection to the Senate until 2020.
The poll showed that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump leads in South Carolina with 37 percent compared to 21 percent for second place finisher Ben Carson. Graham was tied for eighth place with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. The group leads former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.