Gingrich leads Romney in S Carolina: Poll

2012-01-20 15:03

North Charleston - Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich has a six-point lead in South Carolina, a poll released on Thursday showed, with the state's primary less than 24 hours away.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the survey as Gingrich put in a strong performance in a debate with rivals aiming to secure the nomination needed to take on Democratic President Barack Obama in a November 6 election.

The survey put Gingrich (35%) clear of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (29%), with Texas congressman Ron Paul and former senator Rick Santorum tied for third on 15%.

"For the first time in our South Carolina tracking this month (Gingrich's) favourability is better than Romney's, with 53% of voters holding a positive opinion of him compared to 51% for his chief competitor," PPP added.

The survey said Gingrich's lead with evangelicals, a key group in the conservative southern state, "held steady today at 40-22 over Romney".

"He's also doing well with Tea Party voters (46-21), registered Republicans (38-30), voters describing themselves as very conservative (41-21), men (39-27), and voters in the Upstate (36-25)," PPP said of Gingrich.

Angry denial

The release of the poll followed the airing of an interview with Gingrich's former wife where she said that her ex-husband asked for an "open marriage" after carrying on a six-year affair with an aide.

"Revelations from the Marianne Gingrich interview haven't taken a toll on Newt's image yet," PPP said.

Gingrich angrily denied the marital allegations at the start of Thursday's debate and slammed the US media for airing the interview.

"Let me be quite clear. The story is false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period says the story was false," Gingrich said, raising his voice as he went on the attack.

  • Quintooples - 2012-01-20 15:36

    I don't understand South Carolina. The south should not be allowed to hold an early primary. Really? Slimy Newt? Gross.

      Linda - 2012-01-20 18:23

      While I agree with you that Newt is disgusting. The slam on South Carolina, and the entire southern United States was unnecessary...particularly coming from Pennsylvania (ie the state that brought us Santorum). I'm a Southerner, I'm a Kentuckian, I support RON PAUL! :)

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-20 16:19

    What the USA need is Ron paul to win...thats what the southerners here tell me.

  • Roy - 2012-01-20 16:21

    MAKE YOUR VOTE ... COUNT..... every single vote for Dr Paul shows support for TRUE FREEDOM and economic recovery ... Don't waste Even if he doesn't get the most votes .... the greater his numbers the better for you, our children and their children. Don't waste your vote ... VOTE FREEDOM VOTE .. RON PAUL.

  • Charlie - 2012-01-20 23:54

    The fact that people who grew up in a different part of this nation think they're better than a fellow American, well, I just find THAT appalling. I grew up in Georgia, I have served in the military for 8 years now, and I will say this, it's very obvious that people are taught from an early age to look down on Southern people, as if we're some kind of lesser form of humans. I'm usually one of the smarter guys sitting in the room, no matter where I go, do you honestly think I would take crap like this off someone if they said this in person? With that, Newt is by far the smartest guy running in this election, Obama would get stredded to pieces in a townhall debate that wasn't moderated by the "elite" liberal media. BTW, he's ALSO from GEORGIA.

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