Donald Trump speaks at the RNC (Source: WMBF News)
CLEVELAND, OH (WMBF) - While South Carolina doesn't have the greatest number of delegates at the Republican National Convention, the Palmetto state is one where GOP candidate Donald Trump is getting a lot of support.
With the buzz surrounding this week's convention, many wonder if that means Trump's poll ratings will go up. Judging by history, Trump should gain some ground. However, Coastal Carolina University politics professor Adam Chamberlain said it's typical for polls to go haywire during conventions. The primaries are over, Indiana Governor Mike Pence was just picked as a running mate and anti-Trump Republicans protested inside their own convention on the first day of the RNC. So, there's a lot going through people's minds right now.
"Typically the bump's a little large at first then a little bit of a decline. But then Hillary will have her chance in a few days...and she'll see a little bit of a bump and maybe a little bit of a decline. So it'll be interesting to see how much of a bump he gets. Because if he does a good job, some of those voters who are a little more reluctant will say yeah this is the candidate we're willing to vote for now," Chamberlain said.
In the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry surpassed former President George W. Bush's poll numbers after the Democratic convention. However, we know former President Bush took the presidency. The same thing happened for Mitt Romney and John McCain when they ran against President Barack Obama, according to RealClearPolitics.com.
No matter who wins the presidential run this year, South Carolina state leaders told WMBF News they're proud of the state's showing in Cleveland. Seventh District Congressman Tom Rice is in Cleveland with his wife. He described the RNC as "electric" and South Carolina's presence as "incredible." Congressman Rice said he and others from the Palmetto state were at lunch Monday with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He told WMBF News much of the conversation was about unity.
On the main stage Monday night we heard from a slew of politicians, celebrities, and former military officers who really zeroed in on the theme "Make America Safe Again." Discussions centered on anything from domestic gun violence to Hillary Clinton's email controversy threatening national security.
South Carolina's evangelical pastor Mark Burns spoke to a crowd at Quicken Loans Arena and has been added to the prime-time Thursday night line-up. South Carolina's Lieutenant governor Henry McMaster is expected to give a nominating speech for Donald Trump Tuesday.
Congressman Rice said he sees a unified party coming out of this week's convention.
"It was a bruising primary but I think those wounds are healing every day. And I think we're becoming more and more unified...and by the end of this week I feel like we'll come out of here one big happy family, ready to go and ready to beat Hillary Clinton in November," Congressman Rice said. He added he's happy with Indiana governor Mike Pence's vice president nomination and the young, diverse crowd at the convention.
Among those not in at the convention in Cleveland: Governor Nikki Haley, the Bush Family, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Ohio governor John Kasich. Other national republican leaders were also missing. However, former GOP candidate Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are expected to speak at the convention Tuesday.
Tuesday's convention theme is "Make America Work Again." Other speakers include company founders, National Rifle Association reps and Benghazi survivors.