Republican Gov. Nikki Haley holds a double-digit lead over Democrat challenger Vincent Sheheen, a new poll by Rasmussen Reports says in what it's calling its first look at the 2014 gubernatorial rematch in South Carolina.
The statewide telephone survey of likely voters gave Haley a 52 percent level of support to 37 percent for Sheheen, a state senator from Camden.
Three percent favored some other candidate in the race, and 7 percent were undecided, the survey said.
"Our campaign is very confident about our position in the race because of Gov. Haley's great record in office, but we take nothing for granted and will work hard all the way to Election Day," said campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey.
Sheheen's campaign questioned the validity of the survey, saying Rasmussen has been off before. For example, spokesman Andrew Whalen pointed out that in the candidates' previous duel in 2010, the company had Haley up 50 percent to 33 percent in September before the November election. Haley won the race but with a narrow four-point victory.
"Throughout 2010 their bogus and wildly inaccurate polls repeatedly showed Nikki Haley with similarly absurd leads in a race she barely won," Whalen said. "Clearly, this poll is not a real indicator of the state of this race."
The survey of 750 likely voters was conducted April 14-15 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. The Rasmussen Reports surveys was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551