Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is leading Mitt Romney in the South Carolina Republican primary.

That's according to interviews with voters as they left the polls.

The polls in the state have closed as of 7 p.m. EST.

The exit polls also show Gingrich is benefiting from strong support among voters who call themselves conservative.

The exit poll was conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research. The survey involves interviews with more than 4,000 voters as they left polls at randomly selected sites.