According to a new poll, released yesterday, a former Massachusetts governor is holding a five-point lead over a newly invigorated Newt Gingrich in South Carolina with just one week before the critical state holds its Republican primary, reports the New York Post.
Romney got one less 1 percentage point if compared with an earlier poll taken before his decisive victory in last week’s New Hampshire primary.
The former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich holds the second position with 24 percent. Congressman Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum tied for second place with 16 percent support.
Voters in South Carolina who supported Republicans during 9 previous elections appear to have shrugged off attacks on Romney by rivals who accuse him of killing jobs as a private equity executive for Bain Capital in the 1990s, says the Huff Post.
“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 explained.
According to the survey results, jobs and the economy were the main points for 39 percent of those surveyed. Maybe that affect, to a certain extent, Romney’s victory in the poll as Republican voters’ trust in the ability of the former Bain Capital CEO’s to manage the troubled economy, the pollsters found.
Romney is currently leading in the fight with Gingrich that began in December before the Iowa caucuses and has become the most bitter fight in the selection of a Republican challenger to Democratic President Barack Obama in November’s general election.
However, on the other hand, there was a bad news for the: 58 percent of South Carolinians said they don’t want him as their party’s nominee.
By the way, the poll showed that South Carolina voters would favor Romney over Obama by 46 percent to 40 percent.
When asked who they would pick if the nomination contest were between Romney and Gingrich, 62 percent of Republicans chose Romney and 30 percent supported Gingrich.
Many voters accuse Gingrich for painting another candidate Romney as ‘a ruthless corporate raider’, highlighted in a video documentary produced by a funding group that backs Gingrich.
“I think those attacks are misguided. The process of any economy has long been one of creative destruction. Some things grow and some things disappear,” said Steve Matthews, a lawyer from Columbia, South Carolina, who plans to support Romney.
“Even if Romney loses South Carolina by a point or two, he’s got the organization, he’s got the financial backing to do the long battle of attrition that other challengers really don’t,” said Jackson of Ipsos.
This week Romney’s campaign revealed it raised $24 million in the last three months of 2011, while Paul raised $13 million and Gingrich raised about $9 million. Obama is way ahead of the Republicans in fundraising.
Ipsos poll was held online from Jan. 10-13 with a sample of 995 South Carolina registered voters. It included 398 Republicans and 380 Democrats.