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Gingrich leads the field with 35 percent, followed by Mitt Romney at 29 percent and Ron Paul and Rick Santorum at 15 percent each.

PPP was one of four polls released on Thursday to show Gingrich overtaking Romney, who only one week ago held a healthy lead in South Carolina.

The PPP survey was conducted before Thursday night’s debate and during one of the most tumultuous days on the campaign trail.

On Thursday the Iowa Republican Party revealed that a recount of the caucus votes showed that Santorum, not Romney, won the Hawkeye State by a slim margin; Rick Perry withdrew from the race and endoresed Gingrich; and a video leaked of an ABC News interview with Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne Gingrich, who claims he asked her for an “open marriage.”

But Gingrich strongly defended himself against the allegations at the debate, and the PPP survey shows that voters are not yet concerned with the allegations — Gingrich’s favorability numbers are better than Romney’s, according to the poll.

Fifty-three percent said they have a favorable opinion of Gingrich, compared to 51 percent for Romney.

Gingrich also leads in South Carolina among the blocs that make up the largest portion of the state’s conservative base — evangelicals, Tea Party supporters, registered Republicans, voters who identify as “very conservative” and men.

Romney leads among non-evangelicals, centrists, independents and women.