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Poll: Ron Paul moves into second in South Carolina

The State Column [1]
January 16, 2012

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has moved into second [2] in South Carolina. A Reuters/Ipsos poll, released Saturday, found Mr. Paul tied with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for second place with 16 percent of the votes each.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is in the lead with 37 percent of the votes. Mr. Romney’s 21 point lead over Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum may be impossible to overcome with less than a week to go before the South Carolina Republican primary. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who once led the Republican pack in the Palmetto State, sits in fourth place with 12 percent of the votes.

“In primary races things can change quickly but it does look like Romney is in position to win South Carolina, and if he wins … that’s sort of the end of the road for most of his challengers,” Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson said, according [3] to Reuters.

However, Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum continue to act as roadblocks to an easy victory for the Bain Capital co-founder in South Carolina. Mr. Paul’s second place finish in the New Hampshire Primary and Mr. Santorum’s second place finish in the Iowa Caucuses have given the Republican candidates a boost in the Palmetto State.

This is the first poll of likely South Carolina Republican primary voters to show Mr. Paul in second place, albeit tied with Mr. Santorum. An American Research Group poll [4], released Friday, found Mr. Paul in third place, behind Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich. A Rasmussen Reports poll [5] and a Public Policy Polling poll [6], both released Friday, also found Mr. Paul in third place.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll of 398 Republicans and 380 Democrats was conducted between January 10th and January 13th. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points for Republicans.