CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – The results of the Palmetto Poll were unveiled at Clemson University’s Social Media Listening Center ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic primary.
This is the first year faculty members at Clemson utilized social media analytics in tandem with the Palmetto Poll. The poll serves as a university-based and public opinion survey that provides data about the Democratic primary, including a prediction on the winner of the Democratic presidential primary election.
Out of a pool of 650 voters, nearly 35% of voters said they would choose Joe Biden. Coming in second was Tom Steyer with 17%, and Bernie Sanders came in third with 13%.
Researchers said the majority of those polled were female (65%) and African-American (nearly 60%).
Since Feb. 17, Clemson University’s Political Science Department has collected the information for the Palmetto Poll. They finalized those numbers for the 2020 Democratic Primary after Tuesday night’s Debate.
Researchers said Biden could be leading due to his many visits to the State. They said the survey revealed a new surprise.
“Also another surprise is Tom Steyer who we’ve all pretty familiar with because of his ads,” Clemson University Political Science Professor Dr. Bruce Ransom said.
Researchers said they’ve been working all day and night trying to pull the data.
“We’re working in a mixture where we have a panel study, online responses and telephone responses. We mix them all together and get a good reading than what we had in the past on who’s going to vote where,” Clemson University Former Professor Dr. David Woodard said.
The associate director of Clemson’s Social Media Listening Center said they used several platforms to see how people felt about certain issues, especially after the last Debate.
“Bernie Sanders led with a shared voice with over 50 percent every single hour,” Clemson’s Social Media Listening Center Associate Director Will Henderson said.
This may be the first time the University combined social media analytics with the poll, but researchers said they’re confident about their findings ahead of this weekend’s primary.
“We’re a little higher than more recent polls, but we have full confidence that our methodology is going to prove to be faultless,” Dr. Ransom said.
Researchers said things could change over the next three days. They also said with President Trump coming soon, he could possibly push for crossover voting.
The Democratic primary election will be held this Saturday, Feb. 29 in South Carolina.