Poll: Gov. Haley's approval rating on the rise

      By Stefanie

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A new Winthrop University political poll is probably giving Governor Nikki Haley reason to smile. The Winthrop University poll was conducted across the state last week with over 1,000 people polled.

      Governor Nikki Haley's rating on job performance has climbed to around 44%. This compared to her disapproval rating of 39%. In December, data shows that those numbers were just about{}even. Comparing{}the Governor's rating{}to other{}politicians, 47.3% of poll respondents approve of the job Senator Lindsey Graham is doing. Senator Graham is up for reelection in 2014.

      Lowcountry native Senator Tim Scott received a 52% favorable opinion rating from Palmetto State voters. Poll officials said that the Senator had not been on the job long enough to ask whether respondents approve/disapprove of the way he is handling his job. Therefore, it was determined that a{}favorable/unfavorable rating would be better suited for the poll.

      President Obama's approval rating by South Carolinians holds steady at 48%. That's{}about four percentage points lower than his national approval rating. The Winthrop University poll showed that around 47% of people gave the President a disapproval rating.

      Breaking down the number further, 36.3% of respondents think the country is on the right track compared to 55% who think the country is headed in the wrong direction. Yet, 48% of those polled say they think the economic conditions for the country as a whole are getting better, while 52% say conditions for South Carolina are better.

      People polled in South Carolina for the Winthrop study say the most important problems facing the country right now are in order: the economy, national debt, jobs, and politicians and government.