Gingrich surges, takes lead in four South Carolina polls

By David Edwards
Thursday, January 19, 2012 13:50 EDT
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Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich
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With only two days to go before the crucial South Carolina Republican primary, four polls have found that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is edging out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Gingrich claimed his biggest lead over Romney, 34 to 28, in a survey (PDF) published by the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling (PPP), putting him beyond the poll’s margin of error.

The Georgia Republican also nudged past Romney in surveys conducted by Rasmussen Reports (33-31), American Research Group (33-32), and InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion (32-29), all of which were inside the polls’ margin of error.

Gingrich got another boost Thursday after Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the race to endorse him.

All four polls showed Texas Congressman Ron Paul in third and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum trailing slightly behind him in fourth.

But the news wasn’t all bad for Romney. An NBC News poll released Thursday indicated that he was maintaining a 10-point lead over Gingrich.

Romney could also catch a break when ABC News airs an interview where Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne, claimed he wanted an “open marriage,” something that will likely not sit well with South Carolina’s evangelical voters.

Republican voters in the Palmetto State will head to the polls on Saturday to select their nominee.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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