Factbox-South Carolina Republicans see immigration as top issue in primary -exit poll

By Jason Lange and Alexandra Ulmer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Immigration ranked as the No. 1 issue for voters in South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary on Saturday, according to an exit poll conducted by Edison Research.

The poll gathered responses from 2,126 voters in the Republican contest.

* 37% of voters said immigration mattered most when deciding how they would vote in the contest, compared with 33% who said the economy mattered most. 10% cited abortion policy and 13% said foreign policy.

* South Carolina has one of America’s smallest immigrant populations. Just 5% of residents were born abroad, compared with 14% nationwide, according to U.S. Census estimates.

* Whites who consider themselves evangelical or born-again Christians made up 60% of voters, compared with 39% in the 2016 primary.

* 62% of voters on Saturday do not think Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election, while the same share said that if former President Donald Trump were convicted of a crime, he would still be fit for the presidency.

* 35% said Trump would not be fit for the office if convicted.

* 43% of voters had a college degree, compared with 54% in the party’s 2016 primary.

* 22% consider themselves moderate or liberal, compared with 19% in the party’s 2016 primary.

* 83% said the condition of the U.S. economy is not so good or poor, while 16% say it is excellent or good.

* 4% of voters usually think of themselves as Democrats, compared with 2% in the party’s 2016 primary.

* 8% said they decided who to vote for in the last week.

(Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington and Alexandra Ulmer in Columbia, South Carolina; editing by Ross Colvin and Jonathan Oatis)