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Poll: S.C. Likes Romney

Mitt Romney
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Fresh off victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, Mitt Romney has a clear lead in South Carolina’s upcoming primary and is poised to go 3-for-3 according to Monmouth University poll released this morning. The former Massachusetts governor registers 33% support among likely Republican voters in Saturday’s primary. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich places second at 22%. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (14%) and Texas Congressman Ron Paul (12%) are in a close contest for third place.  Rick Perry trails with 6%. Jon Huntsman earned 4% before he pulled out of the race yesterday.

The survey asked 963 likely South Carolina GOP primary voters which factor is more important in their decision – voting for someone who shares their values or someone who can defeat President Barack Obama. More voters choose values (51%) over electability (43%). Among these values voters, 23% support Romney, 19% Paul, 17% Santorum, and 15% Gingrich. Romney is the clear favorite, though, with voters more concerned about electability in November – earning 47% of this group’s vote to 28% for Gingrich, 12% for Santorum, and 6% for Paul.

Poll director Patrick Murray says, “Governor Romney appears to be consolidating his status as the one to beat. While he doesn’t enjoy an outright majority, he performs well with every major voting bloc possibly because the field is still crowded.”

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