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January 21, 2012

South Carolina Primary … Game On … Gingrich Leads Romney in Final Polls … Let the Voting Begin

Posted in: 2012 Elections,Mitt Romney,Newt Gingrich,Polls,Presidential Contenders,Primaries

Will the Gingrich late surge mean victory in South Carolina?

The South Carolina primaries are finally upon us, let the voting begin. Heading in to today’s SC primary it would appear that Newt Gingrich is expanding his poll lead. According to PPP, Gingrich now leads Romney 38% to 27%. It would seem that the MSM’s attempt to smear Gingrich with the last minute ex-wife interview has failed. In fact it might have have done just the opposite.

Gingrich’s lead has actually increased in the wake of his ex-wife’s controversial interview with ABC. Although one night poll results should always be interpreted with caution, he led the final night of the field period by a 40-26 margin. One thing that continues to work to his advantage are the debates.  60% of primary voters report having watched the one last night, and Gingrich has a 46-23 lead with those folks.

According to polls across the board, Gingrich is in the lead as Mitt Romney’s support waning. Gallup shows that Romney’s poll numbers are trending down and collapsing.

Gallup’s Editor-in-chief Frank Newport appeared on MSNBC to talk about the polling organization’s national tracking poll of the GOP primary race, which is changing rapidly in the last few days of the campaign for South Carolina. Newport said when their new data comes out at 1 pm eastern, “…we’ll see this gap closing more. Romney was up 23 points over Newt Gingrich. Now it will be down about ten points, so clearly things are collapsing.”

The Gallup tracking poll showed a huge lead for Romney after winning the New Hampshire primary and it seemed that he was on the way to locking down the nomination. Now that Newt Gingrich has resurged in South Carolina, and taken the media narrative along with him, Romney is faltering nationally.

At RCP, Gingrich is up 2.6% in the average of polling.

Clemson Palmetto Poll has Gingrich leading; however,  20% of South Carolina voters still uncommitted.

“Our head-to-head matchup of the candidates has consistently shown Mitt Romney competitive. The margin for Romney has evaporated this week, and we believe that Gingrich — who led our December poll with 38 percent to Romney’s 21 percent — will win the South Carolina primary,” he said.

Among poll respondents who had chosen or were leaning toward a candidate, this third Palmetto Poll showed Newt Gingrich (32 percent) leading the field over Mitt Romney (26 percent), up slightly from a month ago. Ron Paul came in third (11 percent), about even with his December poll rating. Rick Santorum remained in fourth place (9 percent), despite a significant jump over his ranking last month.

If Newt pulls off a South Carolina victory, which would have come about from his last two tremendous debate performances, will it have an affect in Florida? As the American Spectator writes, Romney has a big head start in Florida.

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