Residents Don’t Want Gov For Veep

By John Celock

A new poll shows that while South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) continues to be popular in her home state, residents of the Palmetto State don’t want to see her run for vice president.

A Public Policy Poll released Thursday shows that only 22 percent of those surveyed believe that Haley should be the Republican vice presidential nominee next year, while 60 percent believe she should not make a vice presidential run. The survey shows that 53 percent of those surveyed approve of her job performance as governor and 35 disapprove of her job performance.

Haley’s job approval ratings have gained support from Democrats following her decision earlier this year to sign legislation to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol in Columbia. Only 17 percent of Democrats approved of her job performance in February while 39 percent of Democrats approve of her job performance in the new poll. Her 76 percent job approval amongst Republicans in February declined to 67 percent in the new poll.

The poll did indicate that opposition to Haley making a bid for vice president embraces Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Haley, who was reelected to a second term in 2014 and will be term limited in 2018, has been mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee since she was first elected in 2010. The nation’s first female Indian-American governor, Haley was a surprise winner in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, riding a wave of tea party support over several better known candidates. Haley was recruited to run by then Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and received backing from then South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) during the race.

Haley is only the fifth woman – and third in her own right – to be elected governor of a southern state. She is one of six female governors in the country and one of two Indian-American governors.

If Haley were to be tapped for vice president she would be the third woman nominated for the vice presidency following Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Palin in 2008. She would also be the first governor to run for vice president since Palin in 2008.

While governorships have been popular launch pads for presidential bids, the job has not been a popular recruitment spot for vice presidential candidates. The last sitting governor to be nominated by a major party for vice president prior to Palin was Maryland Republican Spiro Agnew, who was elected vice president in 1968. The last governor to serve as vice president was Republican Nelson Rockefeller, who was appointed to the post in 1974. Former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey (D) was independent presidential candidate John Anderson’s running mate in 1980.