SC Exit Poll Results: GOP Voters Grow More Conservative

The NBC News Exit Poll of Republican primary voters in South Carolina finds a significant shift toward a more conservative base of voters than has been reported during the past two national elections.

Nearly four in 10 Republicans casting votes in the primary today described their political ideology as "very conservative"—an increase of 3 points over those who identified as "very conservative" in 2012 and up 5 points from 34 percent during the 2008 Republican presidential primary.

The increase among Republicans voters identifying as "somewhat conservative" is even more significant—now at 43 percent of Republican primary voters and up 11 points from 2012 and 9 points from 2008.

Republicans who are likely to consider themselves "moderates" declined to 17 percent of the electorate today from 24 percent in 2008.