1st Winthrop Poll Results Casinos and Politics Together

Gambling in Myrtle Beach?

By Paul Gable

Gov. Nikki Haley holds a 10 point lead over Democrat Vincent Sheheen in the first Winthrop Poll results with other gubernatorial candidates making little impact.

In like manner, incumbent senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott hold very comfortable leads over their main Democratic challengers Brad Hutto and Joyce Dickerson, respectively.

What makes this poll interesting is the three questions on gambling casinos. Respondents were split 47% to 47% when asked if they favored or opposed allowing a limited number of gambling casinos to operate in South Carolina.

Those numbers deteriorated with 31% favoring and 63% opposing allowing those casinos ONLY in or near Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach fared better when the question changed to casinos only in or near Myrtle Beach and the government revenue be designated for roads and infrastructure needs. On that question 45% responded in favor and 49% responded opposed.

The lesson here is gambling casinos are in the political discussion in South Carolina and the question of whether to allow them or not is basically a break even among voters right now. As we have been reporting for nearly a year, if Haley is re-elected, which seems likely, watch for a gambling casino to be approved for the Myrtle Beach area and somewhere in the Upstate early in her second term.

One other response of note is the overwhelming number of voters who favor making the General Assembly subject to the Freedom of Information Act, like other elected officials in the state. 81% of respondents favored bringing the FOIA to the General Assembly with only 14% opposing.

For complete poll results click here: http://www.winthrop.edu/winthroppoll/default.aspx?id=9804


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