Henry McMaster Catherine Templeton Yancey McGill Kevin Bryant (copy) (copy)

South Carolina's 2018 Republican governor candidates (clockwise from top left): Gov. Henry McMaster, Catherine Templeton, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant. 

A South Carolina governor's race poll out today puts Republican Gov. Henry McMaster first among GOP voters but there's a surprise move in second place.

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, who is appealing to social conservatives, is the next popular pick and ahead of former state agency head Catherine Templeton of Mount Pleasant.

Templeton had been seen as McMaster's leading rival so far.

On the Democratic side there's also a surprise as Charleston businessman Phil Noble, who has never held office, is the leading candidate over long-time state lawmaker James Smith of Columbia, according to the poll.

The results were compiled by The Trafalgar Group pollsters.

The numbers are:

SC Governor's Race - GOP Primary

Henry McMaster 39.92% 

Kevin Bryant 11.05%

Someone else 10.14%

Catherine Templeton 7.92% 

Yancey McGill 3.01%

Undecided 27.88%

SC Governor's Race - Democrat Primary

Phil Noble 25.47% 

James Smith 20.38% 

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Someone else 20.61%

Undecided 33.54%

The numbers were collected November 29th to December 30th as part of a survey measuring South Carolina voters’ support for the Convention of States proposal.

The survey was commissioned by the Convention of States Action group. Its members advocate term limits and spending limitations on Congress and the federal government.

Voters were asked about their initial reaction to a Convention of States, then polled separately on their views of congressional term limits, federal spending limits, and limiting federal power. After being confronted with these individual issues, voters were asked again about a Convention of States relating to these particular issues, the pollsters said. 

The poll included more than 2,223 respondents from a random stratified selection of likely 2018 general election and primary voters.

The margin of error is +plus or minus 2.10 percentage points.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.