TO: Interested Parties
FROM: DCCC Targeting and Analytics Department
DATE: October 14, 2020
CUNNINGHAM IS IN STRONG POSITION TO WIN
Representative Joe Cunningham leads State Representative Nancy Mace by 13 points (55% to 42% with just 3% undecided) in a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) survey of 400 likely general election voters conducted in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on behalf of the DCCC IE. Despite millions of dollars in negative attacks from Mace and national Republican groups, Rep. Cunningham remains popular and well-known with the Lowcountry electorate: Cunningham is known by 91% of voters, 58% of voters say he’s doing an excellent or good job, and he enjoys a +20 point net (52% to 32%) favorability rating. Among Black voters, Cunningham carries a +67 points net (75% to 8%) favorability rating.
MACE IS UNDERWATER AND HER NEGATIVE ATTACKS ARE BACKFIRING
In contrast to Rep. Cunningham’s strong numbers, it’s sadly a different story for State Rep. Nancy Mace. By pursuing an overwhelmingly negative campaign against Joe from the outset, Mace has completely failed to introduce herself to the electorate – and there’s strong evidence demonstrating these negative attacks are backfiring. Mace’s favorability rating is underwater by 5 points: 35% to 40%, including a pronounced unpopularity with Black voters (16% favorable to 52% unfavorable). The numbers show that the negative TV ads by Mace and Republican groups have failed to move a Lowcountry electorate that knows and trusts Cunningham on the issues. By large margins, voters trust Cunningham over Mace on priorities like fighting against offshore drilling (58% to 12%), bipartisanship (52% to 24%), and protecting Lowcountry seniors (50% to 26%).
A CHANGING SOUTH CAROLINA IS COMPETITIVE UP AND DOWN THE BALLOT
There is no doubt that the Lowcountry is changing fast. In June, the DCCC wrote that “suburban realignment and regional growth, combined with higher, presidential-level African American turnout bolstered by Vice President Biden and a strong U.S. Senate challenger in Jaime Harrison at the top of the ticket put Rep. Cunningham in a very favorable position to win re-election this fall.” Now, in a first within the district’s modern history, Democrats lead on the presidential, generic, and U.S. Senate ballots. Vice President Biden leads President Trump 48% to 47%, a generic Democrat leads a generic Republican in the race for Congress (49% to 48%), and Jaime Harrison leads Senator Lindsey Graham by 6 points (52% to 46%). Once again, Rep. Cunningham is outmaneuvering his Republican opponent to create a unique coalition of Democrats, Independents and “Cunningham Republicans” inside of a fast-changing Lowcountry district. He remains in a very favorable position to win re-election with just three weeks to go.
These results are based on a GQR survey of 475 likely voters (400 base of likely voters and 75 oversample of African American likely voters) in South Carolina’s 1st District conducted by live interviewers calling landlines and cellphones from October 5-7th and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.5 points at a 95 percent confidence interval.