A new poll by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling finds that Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch has expanded her lead to nine points over Republican Mark Sanford, giving her 50 percent of votes in a matchup compared to his 41 percent.
Green Party candidate Eugene Platt, also on the May 7th ballot for the 1st Congressional District, polls at 3 percent.
Colbert Busch's lead is on the rise for several reasons, according to the poll:
- She has a 51 percent approval rating with voters who call themselves independents compared to to Sanford's 35 percent approval rating.
- She's winning over 19 percent of Republicans, while losing just 7 percent of Democrats.
- It also seems that last week's revelation that former first lady Jenny Sanford filed a complaint in Family Court against her ex-husband for trespassing is translating into many GOP voters planning to stay home on Election Day rather than vote for the Republican nominee.
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The poll also finds that Sanford continues to be unpopular in the district with 38 percent of voters rating him favorably to 56 percent with a negative opinion.
And 51 percent say the revelations about the trespassing allegations last week give them doubts about his fitness for public office.
Meanwhile, Colbert Busch has a 56 percent favorability rating, with just 31 percent of voters giving her poor marks. Those are pretty exceptionally good numbers for a Congressional candidate and a sign that she is a pretty strong candidate in her own right, according to the poll's authors.
The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.5 percent.