June 8, 2010
Is the tea party movement on the verge of more big political wins? On the eve of Tuesday’s 10-state primary, two of the tea party’s best-known candidates are surging in final polls and appear to be in good shape to win their respective GOP nominations.
In South Carolina, state Rep. Nikki Haley appears to have weathered infidelity accusations in her bid for the state’s GOP gubernatorial nomination. According the latest Public Policy Polling survey, Haley, a tea party favorite, leads her nearest opponent, Gresham Barrett, 43 percent to 23 percent.
Haley’s lead has remained virtually unchanged in recent weeks, even after two South Carolina political operatives — blogger Will Folks and lobbyist Larry Marchant — went public with claims they had affairs with Haley. Haley strongly denied the accusations and had many defenders, including Gov. Mark Sanford, who knows a thing or two about infidelity, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who endorsed Haley last month. According to the PPP survey, 54 percent of likely primary voters just don’t believe the claims against Haley, who is viewed favorably by 58 percent of Republicans in the state. Still, Haley has to make it past 50 percent in Tuesday’s vote to avoid a runoff.
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