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Nikki Haley Weathers Infidelity Charges, Leads GOP Governor's Race in S.C.

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South Carolina state Rep. Nikki Haley shows no sign of suffering any damage from allegations that she has had extramarital affairs, with a new poll showing she continues to hold a 20 point lead in her bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. A majority of voters say they don't believe the accusations of infidelity.

Going into Tuesday's primary, Haley runs ahead of the Republican field with 43 percent followed by Rep. Gresham Barrett at 23 percent, Attorney General Henry McMaster at 16 percent, and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer at 12 percent, with 7 percent undecided, according to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted June 5-6.

Haley has gained four points in her level of support since PPP's poll two weeks ago when she held a similar advantage over her nearest rival.

She is seen favorably by 58 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 23 percent, with 19 percent undecided. The 35 point spread in her favor is about the same as it was in the last poll.

Nikki HaleyLast week, a state lobbyist who had resigned from Bauer's campaign claimed he had a tryst with Haley in 2008. It was the second such allegation, following one by a former aide to Gov. Mark Sanford who said he had physical relations with Haley in 2007. Haley vigorously denied both accusations.

Fifty-four percent of voters do not believe she has had extramarital affairs while 13 percent do, with 33 percent undecided.

"Nikki Haley's in good shape," said PPP's Dean Debnam. "Her campaign has deflected the allegations against her well and so far she hasn't suffered any political damage in the wake of them."

The question for Haley is whether she can get to the 50 percent she needs to avoid a runoff. If there is one, Barrett appears to be the candidate with the second place momentum, picking up 7 points of support since the last poll.

If there was a Haley-Barrett runoff, 51 percent of voters said they'd support Haley while 35 percent would back Barrett, with 14 percent undecided. Haley would have a 54 percent to 35 percent advantage over McMaster, with 12 percent undecided, and a 62 percent to 26 percent margin over Bauer, with 12 percent undecided.

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It's not surprising that such an accusation was leveled against the strongest candidate! Even an untrue statement can sometimes backfire on the accuser with the results of pushing even more votes her way!

June 08 2010 at 5:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I would like to know why it is Right Wing politico's have the right to CHEAT on their spouses and get away with it? I thought as other have. The Right Wing spewed ETHICS ad MORALS. I do not see this here.Nikki Haley should step aside. Nikki cannot possibly take over for another who did the same exact thing in Aregentina. Nikki denies having yet another affair. This is at least one and possibillity of two. ETHICS and MORALS..........I think not!!!!!!!!!!

June 07 2010 at 8:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She's a Republican so they are "charges about..." If she were a left-wing Democrat they would be "unsubstantiated, malicious, rumors generated by Right-wing, Republican extremist made up of Tea Party facists."

June 07 2010 at 6:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keep in mind that Nikki is running for Governor not Sainthood. An attractive woman running for Public Office is a "lightning rod" for all kinds of slanderous remarks from the opposition. If she is guilty of any criminal offenses bring on the proof and let the Justice system take it's course, otherwise stay out of her private life. Best of luck Nikki, I hope you win in a landslide vote when the election is over!

June 07 2010 at 5:05 AM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

The problem is, you cannot prove innocence. That's why we have a system of justice which (ostensibly) assumes innocence until guilt is proven. Think about it: how can you prove you *didn't* do something? Most times, you really can't.

We can definitely thank the Repubs for renewing the popularity of prurient propagandizing, but this is nothing new. As long as there have been politics, there have been attempts to scuttle the campaigns of opponents through less than tasteful means. If there is anything ironically amusing about all this, it's the degree of cannibalism present.

June 07 2010 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm hoping for the day when women and other historically discriminated/disenfranchised groups will realize that the Republican party is not their friend. They're against equal pay for women. They voted against the New GI Bill. They show lousy support for veteran's health, and the list goes on. I applaud Ms. Haley for fighting the good fight. I think that she and Gov. Jindal are seeing the racism in the GOP but are too loyal to mention it - yet.

June 06 2010 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it is about time that the people take notice of the slanderous remarks made by other in the attempt tp take the candidate out of a race jut because she is female, smart and sensible.

June 06 2010 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply

Its time the american voters started thinking for themselves and ask for proof when there are allegations and innuendos flung around. We as mature people are getting what we raised. The media is hellbent on muckraking,which brings in $$$ because this is what we like. Sex, lies even without the videotape

June 06 2010 at 10:43 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply

Go Nikki. We need more people like you in politics. Get rid of all the crooks that are in there now. My prayers are with you Nikki,

June 06 2010 at 10:29 PM Report abuse +24 rate up rate down Reply
Ron and Nancy

The Republicans have a history of dirty tricks going back decades, but recently incarnated in Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. If you'll remember the rumor the Bush campaign started about McCain having a black baby. It took the wind out of McCain's sails in the south.

It's rather tiring, however, in such difficult times as these to see the infighting and bitter accusations and character assassinations.

I would hope that if the rumors about Haley are false that she would open her email account for auditing and scruity and if she is indeed innocent that she would sue the accusers.

When you look at this field, one has to wonder if this is the best the GOP can do.

June 06 2010 at 10:23 PM Report abuse -23 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ron and Nancy's comment

I feel the same way about Obama. If the accusations of trying to bribe Sestak and Romanoff are false, he should welcome an independent investigation. But he is avoiding that like the plague. Thats the hypo-crats for ya.

June 06 2010 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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