Rasmussen: Gingrich pulls ahead in South Carolina

Associated Press Published: January 19, 2012
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC -- There's been a feeling since the Fox News Myrtle Beach debate that Newt Gingrich has been picking up support in South Carolina.  Now, in an indication that the GOP presidential race could be changing dramatically, a new poll from Scott Rasmussen shows Gingrich not only picking up support but actually moving into the lead 48 hours before the South Carolina primary.

The new poll shows Gingrich with 33 percent, while Mitt Romney has 31 percent.  No one else is close; Ron Paul is at 15 percent, while Rick Santorum is at 11 percent.  Rick Perry, who withdrew from the race and endorsed Gingrich Thursday morning, has just two percent.

Before last Monday's debate, Rasmussen's polling had Romney at 35 percent and Gingrich at 21 percent.

The new survey was done before news that Gingrich's second wife, Marianne, did an interview with ABC News in which she revealed details from the breakup of their marriage, including his alleged request for an "open marriage."  How that will affect the race is not clear.  But at the moment at least, the South Carolina appears to be changing rapidly.

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