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SC picks Romney for president

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

South Carolinians have voted in favor of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president, based on early returns and exit polling.

The solidly Republican state voted Tuesday to award its nine electoral votes to Romney.

Since Romney's nomination, South Carolina has been considered firmly in his camp.

For the first time in 30 years, South Carolina didn't choose the eventual GOP nominee during its primary, instead backing former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. But Gov. Nikki Haley supported Romney early on, campaigning for the nominee in battleground states but saying repeatedly she would refuse any job offer in a Romney administration.

Republicans hold all statewide elected offices in South Carolina and control both legislative chambers.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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