Santorum takes SC straw poll

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) beat out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to win a GOP straw poll in the key early state of South Carolina over the weekend.

Santorum won 31 percent of delegates at the Greenville County GOP convention on Saturday, followed by Gingrich who took 14 percent. The county boasts a strong contingent of social conservatives. 

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and real estate mogul Donald Trump finished in a tie for third, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Santorum, Gingrich and Mississppi Gov. Haley Barbour, who finished in a tie for fifth in straw poll, were the only three rumored presidential hopefuls to speak at the county's GOP convention. All three also spoke at the Spartanburg County Convention in the state Saturday.

The straw poll victory for Santorum came during his 14th visit to the state, which is more than any other potential GOP hopeful.

Later this week, Santorum heads back to New Hampshire for a town hall on Thursday, followed by an appearance Friday at a "taxpayer Tea Party rally," sponsored by the New Hampshire chapter of Americans for Prosperity.