South Carolinians are far more familiar with Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and state Attorney General Henry McMaster than the other Republicans running for governor.
But nearly as many Republicans dislike Bauer as like him, a factor that could hinder his ability to make it to a runoff.
The two other Republicans in the governor's race, U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett of Westminster and state Rep. Nikki Haley of Lexington County — and the entire Democratic field — are not known to South Carolinians.
Those are a few of the findings of a Winthrop University poll of 837 voting-age South Carolinians conducted earlier this month. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.39 percent.
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The data show McMaster and Bauer running close in terms of name ID among the party faithful. Nearly 30 percent of Republicans said they had a favorable opinion of McMaster and more than 25 percent said that of Bauer.
Among all respondents, the two candidates swap places, with Bauer earning the highest favorability rating of nearly 24 percent, edging McMaster out by 2 percentage points.
Richard Quinn, general consultant to McMaster, said he's pleased with the findings.
"Henry is entering the race with high positives and low negatives," he said. "Republican voters know him. They generally think he's been an aggressive public servant that has done a good job."
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