CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The latest poll from Rasmussen Reports shows former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich leading ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
The poll, released on Thursday afternoon, shows Gingrich earning 33% support to Romney's 31%. Just two days ago, Romney was leading by 14 percentage points.
The newest poll also shows Ron Paul in third with 15% of the vote, followed by Santorum at 11%.
Paul's support is steady while Santorum's support has dropped five points since Monday, analysts said.
The poll shows Evangelical Christians prefer Gingrich by 37% to Romney's 21% margin, with Paul and Santorum at 16% and 15% respectively, but Romney leads among all other religious groups.
Despite continuing criticism of Romney's record as a businessman, 62% of all South Carolina primary voters now feel his business record is primarily a reason to vote for him, while just 22% view it as chiefly a reason to vote against him and 16% aren't sure.
By a narrow 36% to 31%, primary voters think Romney would do a better job than Gingrich managing the economy, but 17% feel Paul would do a better job.
Additionally, the poll shows 1% of likely primary voters like some other candidate in the contest and 6% remain undecided, while 31% say they still could change their minds.
62% are now certain of how they will vote on Saturday, including nearly 70% of those supporting Gingrich, Romney, Santorum and Paul. Just 37% of Perry voters have made up their minds at this point.
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