New poll: Gingrich gains on Romney in South Carolina

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Mitt Romney still holds a double-digit lead in South Carolina ahead of the state’s potentially decisive Republican primary, but Newt Gingrich has narrowed the gap some, according to a new CNN/Time poll.

Romney has the support of 33% of likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina, good for a 10-point advantage over Gingrich. That’s down, however, from an 18-point lead Romney held over Rick Santorum in a poll earlier this month.

Santorum is now down to 16% in the new poll, followed by Ron Paul at 13% and Rick Perry at 6%.


For Romney, a win in South Carolina on Saturday could essentially end the GOP nominating race. He’s already won the New Hampshire primary, and was the presumed victor in the Iowa caucuses a week earlier. The Iowa Republican Party will announce its final certified caucus results on Thursday.

Romney has a more significant lead in Florida, which votes 10 days after South Carolina.

The CNN/Time poll showed Romney leading Santorum 43-19%, with Gingrich at 18%.

Both surveys were conducted from Friday to Tuesday. The South Carolina survey of 505 likely voters had a margin of error of 4.5%. The Florida poll of 391 likely voters had a margin of error of 5%.

The GOP hopefuls will meet for another televised debate in South Carolina on Thursday.