Poll: Ron Paul is likely to defeat Rick Santorum in South Carolina Primary
Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, is likely to defeat former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in the Palmetto State, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters in the South Carolina Primary.
Mr. Paul pulled in 15 percent of the votes to best Mr. Santorum by four percentage points in the pre-South Carolina Primary poll. A Rasmussen Reports poll, released Tuesday, found Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum tied with 16 percent of the votes each. In less than a week, Mr. Paul’s support has held steady in the Palmetto State and Mr. Santorum’s has dipped five percentage points.
Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), who pulled in 2 percent of the votes in the South Carolina poll, exited the GOP race Thursday and endorsed Mr. Gingrich for the Republican presidential nomination. “I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform this country,” Mr. Perry said in an 11am news conference.Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is also a big winner in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll. Mr. Gingrich is now the front-runner in the Palmetto State after trailing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by 14 percentage points earlier in the week. Mr. Gingrich garnered 33 percent of the votes in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.
Realizing that Mr. Perry’s endorsement is likely to level the playing field between Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney in the Palmetto State, Mr. Paul quickly went on the offensive against the Georgia Republican.
“Don’t be fooled by the words candidates use when they are running for office. Look hard at their records. My record is one of true limited government, anti-Washington, D.C. conservatism,” Mr. Paul said in an email to supporters Thursday.
“Newt Gingrich has a long record of liberal appeasement, flip-flopping on key issues, and lobbying for insider millions,” Mr. Paul added.
With the South Carolina Primary scheduled for Saturday, January 21st, the Republican candidates are making their final pitch to Palmetto State voters. The South Carolina debate, hosted by CNN, will allow candidates to discuss important issues on the national stage before voters head to the polls.
The Rasmussen Reports poll of 750 likely voters in the South Carolina Republican primary was conducted on January 18th. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.