New poll shows Romney as favorite to win SC Primary

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Just days after his victory in the Iowa Caucus, Mitt Romney is now the front runner to win the South Carolina Primary later this month, according to a CNN poll released Friday.

The CNN and Time magazine poll asked SC Republicans who they would vote for in the Jan. 21 SC Primary. The results indicate that 37 percent favor Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor. Rick Santorum finished second in the poll at 19 percent.

Romney visited Charleston on Thursday with supporters Sen. John McCain and Gov. Nikki Haley.

Romney's support in SC appears to have almost doubled since a previous poll released in early December where he had 20 percent of the vote. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the favorite in that poll, finishing at 43 percent. In the latest poll, Gingrich dropped to 18 percent.

Rick Perry, who announced his bid for president in Charleston, finished fifth in the poll with just 5 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul increased his showing in the pill from 6 to 12 percent.

The poll results come just days before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

And, in an apparent reinforcement of questions over faith in South Carolina, voters who are both born-again Christians and tea party supporters are least likely to support Romney, but he still tops the rest of the field with 31 percent support, CNN said.

The poll was conducted by ORC International for CNN and Time magazine on January 4-5. The 485 SC voters who participated in the poll were questioned by telephone. According to CNN, the survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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