Gingrich overtakes Romney in two more South Carolina polls

Gingrich leads Romney 34 percent to 28 percent in the first Public Policy daily tracking poll. Ron Paul came in at 15 percent, followed by Rick Santorum at 14 percent, Rick Perry at 5 percent and Buddy Roemer at 3 percent.

Perry dropped out of the race on Thursday morning and endorsed Gingrich.

{mosads}The PPP poll points out that this is not a case of Romney fading, but rather an indication of a Gingrich surge. Romney’s percentage has remained in the 20s to 30s, but Gingrich is up from 23 percent only two weeks ago – an 11-point spike.

The Gingrich campaign has been working furiously to build on the former House Speaker’s fiery debate performance Monday night at which received a standing ovation from the audience. Fifty-six percent of those polled by PPP said they watched the debate.

A separate survey released Thursday from conservative polling outlet Rasmussen shows Gingrich passing Romney.

According to the Rasmussen poll, Gingrich leads among likely GOP voters with 33 percent, followed by Romney at 31 percent, Paul at 15 percent, Santorum at 11 percent and Perry at 2 percent.

The PPP and Rasmussen surveys back up the findings of two other polls released on Thursday, one from American Research Group and another from Insider Advantage, which is run by a former Gingrich operative.

Both of those polls showed Gingrich overtaking Romney by a slim margin.

Still, it’s been a tumultuous 24 hours, and none of Thursday’s polls include the bombshell from Gingrich’s ex-wife Marianne Gingrich — who said in an interview that he wanted an “open marriage” — or Rick Perry’s exit from the race or the new Iowa caucus results that show that Rick Santorum came in first.

The candidates will have the opportunity to respond to all of these breaking events on Thursday night at the final debate before the South Carolina primary.


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