CLEMSON, South Carolina — Donald Trump leads the GOP presidential field among South Carolinians who voted in recent primaries, according to a new Clemson University Palmetto Poll.

Palmetto PollAsked if the primary was held today, 28 percent of respondents who voted in two of the last three state primary elections said they would vote for Trump, Nineteen percent said they would vote for Ted Cruz, 15 percent for Marco Rubio, 10 percent for Jeb Bush, 9 percent for John Kasich and 6 percent for Ben Carson. Thirteen percent were undecided.

The telephone survey of 650 respondents this week began Sunday, the day after the Republican debate in Greenville. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Palmetto State holds the important “First in the South” presidential primary position. Republicans will vote for their nominee candidate Saturday and Democrats follow one week later on Feb. 27.

Trump also was the leader in a Palmetto Poll in the fall with 23 percent of respondents’ support. Carson came in second at 19 percent.

“Donald Trump was strong in November of 2015, and he remains strong for the primary vote,” said political science professor David Woodard, who with fellow professor Bruce Ransom oversees the poll. “The only question seems to be who will finish second and who will finish fourth.”

Asked to pick a second choice from the field if their first choice is not available, Rubio was picked by 23 percent of respondents, followed by Cruz at 18 percent.

The Palmetto Poll also asked:

What do you like most about your first choice for president?

Has honesty and integrity
21%
The candidate’s overall political ideology
15%
Appears as a strong leader for the country
11%
The candidate shares my views
11%
The candidate will stand up for any position he takes
11%
The candidate has a better idea for strengthening the nation’s economy
7%

Some also mentioned keeping the country safe from terrorism and having plans for policy in the Middle East.

Finally, the poll asked voters about their timing and how difficult it was to make up their minds about the candidates running for office this year.

When did you, or when will you, make up your mind about for whom you will vote for president in the election?

Before the primaries began
12%
After the previous primary outcomes
6%
This past week
5%
Today
3%
Other
60%

END