Poll: District 1 a toss-up; Colbert Busch holds small lead over Sanford

RALEIGH, N.C. (WCIV) -- Polling numbers in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District show a dead heat, according to Public Policy Polling.

The poll, released Tuesday, shows Democratic candidate leading Republican frontrunner and former Gov. Mark Sanford 47-45. She is tied at 43 percent with Curtis Bostic, PPP reports.

The poll shows that Democrats are unified behind Colbert Busch. She's pulling nearly 90 percent of the Democratic vote, PPP says, while Sanford and Bostic are pulling less than 80 percent of the GOP vote.

Sanford remains the favorite for the GOP nomination heading into the April 2 runoff, leading Bostic 53 to 40 percent, according to PPP. The polling group points out that the side-by-side comparison of GOP candidates nearly matches Sanford's approval ratings: 55 percent approve of him, 40 percent do not.

If Sanford does advance to the general election, the race will likely be very competitive, PPP said, because Colbert Busch has a 45 percent favorability rating while Sanford is upside down, dealing with a 34 percent favorability rating.

Bostic has a 30 percent favorability rating, the poll shows.

Even Colbert Busch's famed comedian brother, Stephen Colbert, has a favorability rating above Sanford's, the polling agency said.

"The South Carolina special looks like a toss up," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "The big question is how much Republicans will unify around their nominee after the runoff next week."

For full polling results, click here.