SC Republican accused of smearing Haley passes lie detector test

Proof positive of how badly the attacks on Haley have backfired: Not only is Andre Bauer, whose former consultant claimed last week to have had a one-night stand with Haley, still stuck in fourth place, but he’s resorting to stunts like this on the day before the primary to try to make the runoff.

In a GOP gubernatorial debate last week in Charleston, Haley accused Bauer of being responsible for charges of marital infidelity against her. Larry Marchant, one of the two men who have claimed past relationships with Haley, was a consultant to the Bauer campaign until the day of the debate…

Bauer on Monday released the results of a lie detector test he says he took Sunday night in Columbia, administered by an independent, FBI-certified polygrapher. Bauer says another independent, certified polygrapher reviewed the charts Monday to verify the result.

“The voters now know that I had absolutely nothing to do with the unfortunate revelations made about Ms. Haley in the last two weeks,” said Bauer.

He was pressing Haley to take a lie-detector test last week; today she formally refused to do so. And why not? According to PPP, not only is she up 20 points but she’s got a shot at winning the race outright tomorrow and avoiding a runoff. Note well:

Haley has a 20 point lead, getting 43% of the vote. Gresham Barrett looks like the favorite for the second runoff spot. He’s at 23%, followed by Henry McMaster at 16%, and Andre Bauer at 12%…

Only 13% of voters believe the allegations about Haley’s marital infidelity. 54% flat out do not believe them and 33% are unsure. Haley will, however, be in trouble with voters if they ever are proven. In that case 42% think she should drop out of the race.

Haley’s net favorability is +35, Bauer’s is, er, -23. In a hypothetical runoff with Barrett, she leads 51/35. McMaster’s and Bauer’s supporters are leaning towards him over her, but remember that Barrett voted for TARP in 2008 and has been defending his vote ever since. Is he going to turn around public perceptions on that in just two weeks, in a primary as red as the South Carolina GOP contest? Hmmm.

Finally, two intriguing bits of gender-related data from the PPP crosstabs for you to chew on:

Haley’s favorables among women are higher than Barrett’s, McMaster’s, or Bauer’s, but it’s striking that her rating among men is fully 10 points higher. And you could build a week or two of classroom discussion in a gender studies class on that second table, with men 11 points less likely to believe the cheating allegations against her. Exit question: Any theories for the discrepancy?

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