Economy is Top Issue for Primary Voters

A new Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll of the June Republican primary in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district finds incumbent Representative Nancy Mace with 47% support, Catherine Templeton at 22%, and Bill Young at 7%. Twenty-four percent are undecided ahead of the June primary. 

“With just under three weeks until the South Carolina primary elections, Mace holds a significant lead over her primary challengers Templeton and Young,” Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling, said. “Mace’s support is strongest among voters over 70, 53% of whom support the Representative, voters without a college degree, at 51%, and male voters, at 49%.”

A plurality of SC-01 Republican primary voters (43%) say former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Mace does not impact their vote, while it makes 37% more likely to vote for Mace, and 20% less likely to support the Congresswoman. 

“Male voters are 13 percentage points more likely than women voters in the 1st district to say Trump’s endorsement makes them more likely to support Mace, 43% to 30%,” Kimball noted. 

If Donald Trump were to receive a guilty verdict in his criminal trial in New York, 51% of Republican Primary voters say it would not impact their vote in 2024, 36% say it would make them more likely to support the former president, and 13% less likely. 

The economy is the top issue for 46% of SC-01 Republican primary voters, followed by immigration (15%), threats to democracy (9%), education (8%), and housing affordability (6%).

Voters were asked which Republican primary candidate for Congress they trust to do a better job on a series of issues: border security, inflation, environmental management, abortion policy, and foreign policy. A majority of voters trust Mace to do the best job on each issue. 

  • Border security: 59% Mace, 30% Templeton, 12% Young
  • Foreign policy: 59% Mace, 26% Templeton, 15% Young
  • Inflation: 57% Mace, 29% Templeton, 14% Young
  • Abortion policy: 56% Mace, 28% Templeton, 16% Young
  • Environmental management: 55% Mace, 30% Templeton, 15% Young


The Emerson College Polling/The Hill South Carolina 1st District poll was conducted May 19-21, 2024. The sample consisted of n=400 South Carolina 1st district likely Republican primary voters and with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education based on US Census parameters, and South Carolina voter registration and voter turnout data (SC SOS and 2024 primary exit polls). Data was collected by contacting a list of cell phones via MMS-to-web and landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR), provided by Aristotle.

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know that with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times. Numbers included in the press release are rounded to the nearest whole number, therefore totals might not always equal 100.

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling and sponsored by Nexstar Media. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, full results and cross tabulations can be found below.