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Poll: McCain gains 12 points in South Carolina

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Arizona Sen. John McCain's huge victory in last week's New Hampshire primary has given the GOP upstart a 12-point boost in South Carolina. McCain now leads Texas Gov. George W. Bush by a narrow 44 to 40 percent margin among likely voters in the state's February 19 primary.

The Arizona senator nearly doubled his support among moderates and enjoys a comfortable margin among veterans, who constitute a quarter of the likely GOP electorate.

McCain also leads Bush among Independents, but lags behind among Republicans and conservatives by a 13-point margin. Indeed, the outcome of the South Carolina primary will probably turn on how many moderates, liberals, Independents and Democrats turn out to vote for the "open primary."

What effect did the New Hampshire primary have on views of McCain in South Carolina? There is just one difference between the current poll and a CNN/Time poll taken in the state a week ago -- more voters now say McCain can beat the Democratic nominee in November, while the number who say Bush can win the general election has dropped. The two candidates are now virtually tied on that measure.

The poll is based on interviews with 515 likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina. It was conducted on February 4-5, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, unless otherwise noted.

Thinking about the presidential primary election on February 19, if you were asked to vote for a Republican nominee for president today, which of the following Republicans would you vote for?
  Now Jan. 26-27
McCain 44% 32%
Bush 40 52
     
McCain 44%  
Bush 40  
Keyes 5  
Forbes 2  

Independents Republicans
McCain 57% 37%
Bush 27 50

Moderates Conservatives
McCain 66% 37%
Bush 22 47

Veterans Others
McCain 54& 42&
Bush 36 41

S.C. Natives Moved to S.C.
McCain 40% 48%
Bush 43 33

CNN/TIME POLL
SOUTH CAROLINA GOP PRIMARY
McCain's Support Among...

Now Jan. 26-27
Moderates 66% 36%
Veterans 54 30
Independents 57 42

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to John McCain: Can beat the Democratic nominee in November.

Now Jan. 26-27
Yes 64% 52%
No 19 30

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to George W. Bush: Can beat the Democratic nominee in November.

Now Jan. 26-27
Yes 66% 78%
No 21 12

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to George W. Bush and John McCain: Can beat the Democratic nominee in November.

Now Jan. 26-27
Bush 66% 78%
McCain 64 52

Do you consider John McCain to be very conservative, somewhat conservative, a moderate or a liberal?

Now Jan. 26-27
Conservative 52% 62%
Moderate 31 25

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to John McCain: Shares the values of South Carolinians.

Yes 62% No 18

Yes 62%
No 18

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to George W. Bush and John McCain: Earned the right to be president.

Applies Does not apply
McCain 67% 20%
Bush 54 34

Which candidate -- Bush or McCain -- do you think would do a better job of reforming the government in Washington?

McCain 49%
Bush 34

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to George W. Bush and John McCain.

McCain Bush
Sincere 80% 70%
Honest and trustworthy 79 69
Understands world affairs 77 62
Strong leader 75 65
Inspiring 71 59
Has new ideas 66 55

 
ELECTION 2000


CALENDAR
See how quickly the primary and caucus season will take off with this calendar.


VIDEO
Watch selected policy speeches and campaign commercials from the major presidential candidates.


WHAT'S AT STAKE


CANDIDATE BIOS
Quick takes on the White House hopefuls.


RACES
If you need to know who's up in 1999 or 2000 and what seats are open launch this quick guide.


THE STATES
Who are your elected officials? What is the past presidential vote and number of electoral votes in your state? Find out with these state political and election facts.


POLLS
Check out the latest numbers or dig back into the poll archives.


WHO'S IN-WHO'S OUT
Who is running, who isn't running and who has already dropped out? Check out our tally sheet.


FOLLOW THE MONEY
How much money have the candidates raised? Here are their quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission.


MESSAGE BOARDS



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Saturday, February 5, 2000


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