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Pre-Debate Rasmussen Poll Shows Romney Ahead in South Carolina

4:19 PM, Jan 17, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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The latest Rasmussen poll from South Carolina shows little movement, aside from Mitt Romney apparently having picked up almost all of the support that previously went to Jon Huntsman. The poll likely represents a high watermark for Romney in South Carolina, as it was taken just after Huntsman dropped out of the race but just before last night’s debate. During that debate, Rick Santorum landed some significant blows at Romney’s expense, and Newt Gingrich — who received a standing ovation — was widely viewed to be the winner.  

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Prior to the debate, Romney had the support of 35 percent of those likely to vote in the South Carolina Republican primary. He had 28 percent support in the Rasmussen poll taken four days earlier (at which time Huntsman had 5 percent support). Gingrich remained in second place (with 21 percent support), and Santorum was tied for third with Ron Paul (with 16 percent support apiece), with the support for all three men remaining unchanged from the prior poll. Rick Perry was in fifth place, with 5 percent support. (He had 6 percent support in the previous poll.) 

The poll shows Gingrich continuing to lead among Tea Party voters, while Romney continues to lead among non-Tea Party voters. Only 59 percent of all likely voters said they were certain of their vote going into last night.  

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