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Nikki Haley leads in early poll

Buoyed by her triumph in securing Republican nomination, Indian-American Nikki Haley is leading against her Democratic rival Vincent Shaheen for the November gubernatorial elections for South Carolina, early opinion polls have said.

world Updated: Jul 01, 2010 14:20 IST

Buoyed by her triumph in securing Republican nomination, Indian-American Nikki Haley is leading against her Democratic rival Vincent Shaheen for the November gubernatorial elections for South Carolina, early opinion polls have said.

Haley bagged the Republican nomination after last month's run-off in the primary.

"We're pleased to start the general election with a double-digit lead," said her campaign, as the latest opinion poll showed that she was leading by 12 points over Shaheen.

Born of Sikh parents, if elected, Haley, who converted to Christianity, would be second Indian American governor for any US State.

Bobby Jindal from Louisiana is the first Indian American to be elected as the Governor in the US.

"Nikki Haley's conservative reform message of limited, accountable government that works for the people and not the politicians clearly resonates with voters.

The more people get to know Nikki, the more they realize she's the right person to move South Carolina forward," her campaign said.

The phone survey, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, shows Haley with 52 per cent and Shaheen with 40 per cent, with five percent undecided and three percent favouring other candidates.

Haley and Shaheen each received about 85 per cent of the support from their respective parties, but Haley leads Shaheen by 18 per cent among independent voters in a state with a registration and voting-pattern advantage for the Republicans.