The Sumter County Republican Party will hold a straw poll at their next meeting to determine where their rank-and-file members stand on the current presidential race.
“With so many great candidates to choose from, now is the time to show your support,” said acting Sumter GOP chairman Jason Reddick. Results of the straw poll will be announced at the conclusion of the meeting, which takes place Thursday, Feb.4, at the Sumter Elks Lodge at 1100 W. Liberty, near Second Mill Pond. Doors for the dinner meeting open at 6:30, while the meeting itself starts at 7 p.m.
While straw polls have been a common occurrence in the past with the Sumter GOP, they have not always been kind to frontrunners.
During their 2011 convention, Sumter County Republicans ultimately supported 2012 party nominee Mitt Romney in a close poll, receiving 21 percent of the vote, narrowly defeating a political novice who was at the time prompting speculation into whether he would even enter the race. That person, none other than New York businessman Donald Trump, received 18 percent of Sumter GOP.
Mike Huckabee, Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich, the eventual winner of the South Carolina primary, rounded out the top five vote-getters among Sumter GOP convention attendees.
In 2010, before that year’s statewide primaries, Sumter GOP straw poll participants supported Gresham Barrett for governor, with 51 percent of those attending choosing him over eventual governor Nikki Haley, who finished second in the local poll, with 29 percent.
South Carolina Republicans will head to the polls Feb. 20 to cast their ballots in the state’s presidential primary. Democrats will vote a week later, on Feb. 27.