Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is surging in South Carolina and now has a solid lead over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a new CNN/Time/ORC International poll released today.
The poll also shows that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's support in South Carolina has soared, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's numbers have nose-dived.
South Carolina holds the first in the south contest in the race for the nomination with its critical January 21 primary.
According to the poll, 37% of likely GOP primary voters in South Carolina say they are currently backing Romney, nearly double his most recent support from CNN's last South Carolina survey conducted early last month. The new poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, after Romney's eight-vote victory over Santorum in Tuesday night's Iowa caucuses.
Santorum had 19% support in the survey, up from 4%, and Gingrich was at 18%, down from 43% in the ea rly December poll.
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