New poll: Gingrich leads Romney by 14%

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The latest poll was released Saturday, just as South Carolinians are voting in the Republican primary. The poll shows Newt Gingrich soaring past Mitt Romney among likely voters in the Palmetto State.

The American Research Group conducted the poll Thursday and Friday and released the results Saturday. The poll shows Gingrich with 40 percent of the vote and Romney with 26 percent, giving Gingrich a 14 percent lead. ARG's last poll, released Thursday, showed a virtual tie with Gingrich at 33 percent and Romney at 32 percent.

Ron Paul finished with 18 percent and Rick Santorum had 13 percent in the poll. Gingrich gained 7 percentage points since the previous survey and Romney lost 6 percentage points, according to the American Research Group.

Gingrich leads Romney 47 percent to 24 percent among self-identified Republicans, followed by Paul and Santorum with 14 percent each. Paul leads among independents and Democrats with 33 percent, followed by Romney with 31 percent, Gingrich with 18 percent, and Santorum with 10 percent.

Gingrich finished at the top in the poll among those likely primary voters saying they are supporters of the Tea Party with 48 percent, followed by Romney with 19 percent, Santorum with 16 percent and Paul with 14 percent.

The poll surveyed 600 likely Republican primary voters between Thursday and Friday.

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