In 2012, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina GOP presidential primary. If that election were held today, however, Jeb Bush would win it, according to a freshly released Townhall/Gravis Marketing poll:
Almost 800 Republican primary voters participated -- an acceptable if not ideal sample. Usually, we'd like to see at least 1,000 respondents surveyed in a poll of this kind. Nevertheless, the reason Jeb Bush edges everyone else is because he does exceptionally well among crucial demographics. Despite the fact respondents were overwhelmingly white (87 percent), as Neil McCabe first pointed out, Bush is the most popular choice among women (17 percent), African-Americans (27 percent), and Hispanics (36 percent). That latter statistic is particularly impressive, although not necessarily surprising given his unrelenting support for comprehensive immigration reform.
The poll therefore suggests that if and when Jeb Bush enters the race -- that is, if he can keep his campaign afloat through Iowa and New Hampshire -- he stands a solid chance of winning the Palmetto State primary.
That’s especially true if Hispanics and African-Americans show up to the polls in greater numbers than the Townhall/Gravis poll projects: