Despite critiques to the contrary, Haley thinks she has good relationships with most lawmakers, spokesman Godfrey said, adding the absence of her chief nemesis in the next session will help more.
A very small number of legislators have been the focal point of the majority of friction that has existed, Godfrey said. She is confident that the absence of Sen. (Jake) Knotts will go a long way toward a smoother relationship with the General Assembly, and she is really looking forward to that.
Knotts, a Lexington Republican, was defeated Tuesday by petition candidate Katrina Shealy, a Haley ally.
While the data breach will be a leading topic when the Legislature convenes, Felkel said a larger issues still looms in a state grappling with lingering poor economy.
People care most about jobs, he said. (I) think thats what will matter most.
Democratic pollster Carey Crantford agrees Haley will be judged on job creation, but thinks voters also will care about leadership or the lack thereof.
Haley has been up and down over the last two years, he said. There has not been a whole lot of consistency in how shes handled things.
Two fights in 14?
If Haley runs again, the data breach will be featured in advertisements attacking her record.
They will make a big deal with this, Quinn said of Democrats.
But Haleys calm handling of pointed questions shows she has matured since she was a House member representing Lexington County, Quinn said. That also could be a plus in her re-election campaign.
She was very smart to get out in front of it, he said.
Still, Haley could face two fights in 2014.
She could face a challenge in the GOP primary from state Treasurer Curtis Loftis or state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort. And Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, appears ready for a rematch with Haley, who beat him in 2010. Other Democrats including state Reps. Harry Ott of St. Matthews, Leon Stavrinakis of Charleston to James Smith of Columbia also could enter the race.
McAlister said Haley is positioned well for a re-election bid, having raised more than $1 million and enjoying the support of a nominally independent pro-Haley political group that has raised more than $500,000.
She has the money and she has the organization to make a good run if she chooses, McAlister said. I dont think the GOP has a deep bench (for a primary bid). And I dont think a Democrat will win the governors seat.
The national media continues its love affair with S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.
The most recent edition of Time magazine, marking President Barack Obamas re-election, includes 13 politicians to watch in the 2016 presidential race.
Among those to watch, Time says, are household names: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Joe Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Then, there are the dark horses, including San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and, last, Haley.
Time notes Haley has been dogged by some controversies, mentioning allegations of marital infidelity but not her much-questioned ethics. The magazine calls her a Tea Party favorite and, like the others listed, gives her a full-page photograph.