Less than a week before the contentious special election between Mark Sanford (R) and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (D), a RRH/PMI automated survey of 650 likely voters in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District finds the race as close as can be, with both candidates taking 46 percent of the vote and 7 percent undecided. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent. . . .
2012 presidential results in the survey were 54% Romney, 41% Obama. This result shows a turnout marginally more Democratic than the turnout in the 2012 presidential election, in which Romney won the seat 58-40. The relatively Democratic electorate suggests somewhat high enthusiasm among Democrats and liberals, and somewhat decreased enthusiasm among conservatives.
The electorate we found was 60% Female and 40% Male. The electorate was weighted to the following racial balance: 79% White, 15% African American, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 3% Other races.
Polling and forecasting turnout in a special election is particularly difficult; the usual low turnout of special elections is likely to be mitigated in this case with two candidates with higher-than-normal profiles, a former governor known for an infamous scandal and the sister of a television comedian. Normally, one could conclude that a currently undecided voter would be unlikely to vote on Tuesday, but this race seems to be anything but normal.
Having said that, it will be interesting if turnout Tuesday really splits 60–40 along gender lines.
The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling will survey the district again this weekend.