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Aug. 22, 2018

Press Contact: Brad Warthen, 803-315-1886

Poll says Smith can win

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A new poll by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group shows Democratic nominee
James Smith “narrowly trailing” the Republican incumbent by only 4 percentage points – within the
poll’s margin of error.

The poll of 605 likely S.C. general election voters found 43 percent supporting Smith and 47 percent
backing Henry McMaster, with 10 percent undecided.

It’s that close in spite of McMaster having more than twice the name recognition. But that higher name
ID doesn’t help McMaster: Only 39 percent think he’s “a strong leader,” only 38 percent believe he
“puts South Carolina ahead of politics,” and only 37 percent “have confidence that McMaster is honest,”
according to pollster Fred Yang.

And the more people know about both candidates, the more they prefer Smith. And that includes such
traditionally Republican groups as white conservatives and evangelicals. After hearing positive
biographical information about both candidates, the same respondents prefer Smith, 51 percent to 46 for

“A strong majority of South Carolinians find James’ background and non-partisan, practical approach to
leadership very appealing,” the pollster concludes, adding that “if James is able to communicate this
message to a broader statewide audience and raise his name ID, he has a very strong chance to win this

James Smith had this to say about the poll:

“These are encouraging numbers. The more people know about Henry McMaster, the more
certain they are that he puts politics ahead of the people of South Carolina. And the more they
get to know me, the more confidence they have that I can provide the new leadership they’re
looking for.
“Mandy and I are running to serve all of South Carolina. In the military, I was taught that we
leave no one behind. And I will bring that core value to the governor’s office.

“This is not about me being governor, but about the people of South Carolina and their future.
And that is who we will serve first and always.”

Mandy Powers Norrell, Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, said:

“This shows our message speaks to our fellow South Carolinians. But you can bet that we’ll both
be working even harder, every day, to make sure every voter knows about our positive vision for
our state’s future. James and I will take no one and no place for granted. This is a 46-county
campaign, and we'll get out there and earn every vote we get.”

The poll was conducted between Aug. 6 and 9. Garin-Hart-Yang interviewed a representative sample of
605 likely South Carolina general election voters on both landlines and cell phones. The survey has a
margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.