Mark Sanford’s personal record could cost him the upcoming special election, too, the survey by Red Racing Horses found.
The sum results found the Republican nominee in a 46-46 tie with Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert-Busch. Seven percent remain undecided.
Were Sanford replaced by another Republican, however – state Sen. Larry Grooms, who placed third in the GOP primary – Colbert-Busch would only take 40 percent, RRH says, trailing Grooms’ 47 with 13 percent undecided.
“The closeness of the race in the normally Republican district is almost certainly due exclusively to Republican ex-Gov. Mark Sanford’s personal issues,” RRH says in its poll release.
In 2009, Sanford was caught traveling to Argentina to meet his then-mistress; he was later fined $74,000 for using state funds to pay for those trips, as well other violations.
A recent charge of violating divorce terms by trespassing on his ex-wife’s property will be heard in family court on May 9, two days after the election for the 1st Congressional District.
The poll finds Sanford to lead in the suburban Berkeley and Dorchester counties by sizable margins, but also finds a Colbert Busch advantage in the larger Charleston and Beaufort.
The Democrat has a slight lead amongst female voters, and holds a considerable margin over Sanford in the opinions of minorities.
The surveying company admits a Republican lean, it should be noted, as can be found in its tagline (“Candidates, elections, and politics from the right perspective") and "about" statement ("Red Racing Horses is a collaborative, Republican-oriented online community of politics and election enthusiasts.").
Other polls on the race lean toward Colbert Busch, including the most recent by the progressive Public Policy Polling, which found her to lead Sanford by nine percent.
PPP was rated most accurate in poll results regarding 2012 elections.
RRH conducted its survey of 5,000 likely voters between April 29 and May 1, and says its findings have +/- 5 percent margin of error.