by Paul Bowers
If Democrat Vincent Sheheen makes another run for governor in 2014, he'll have a shot at unseating incumbent Gov. Nikki Haley, according to a poll released by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling this week. The poll shows Sheheen beating Haley 46 percent to 44 percent, with 10 percent undecided. The margin of error in the poll was 4.3 percent.
Neither Sheheen nor Haley has formally announced a run for governor yet, but Sheheen, a state senator from Camden who won an uncontested re-election bid this year, is definitely fundraising. In a fundraising e-mail to supporters this morning, he linked to an article in The State titled "2014 SC Governor's race: Sheheen leads Haley, poll says," and wrote, "I can't help but believe that our state would be a very different place if the headline had said that several years ago!" In 2010, Haley defeated Sheheen by just four percentage points — in a midterm election season when Republicans gave the Dems a shellacking nationwide.
The poll, which was conducted among 520 South Carolina voters from Dec. 7-9, also considered potential matchups in the gubernatorial race if Haley decides not to run or is defeated in the GOP primary. Respondents to the poll picked Sheheen over two other likely Republican candidates, Treasurer Curtis Loftis (46-37) and Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell (44-41).