Katie Pavlich

It's a rainy gray day here in South Carolina as voters head to the polls to cast their vote in the 2012 South Carolina GOP primary. Newt Gingrich has been gaining momentum all week and a brand new American Research Group poll shows him ahead of Mitt Romney by double digits.

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Newt Gingrich leads the South Carolina Republican presidential primary with 40% and is followed by Mitt Romney with 26%, Ron Paul with 18%, and Rick Santorum with 13%.

Gingrich has gained 7 percentage points since the survey conducted January 17-18 and Romney has lost 6 percentage points since that survey.

Gingrich leads Romney 47% to 24% among self-identified Republicans, followed by Paul and Santorum with 14% each. Paul leads among independents and Democrats with 33%, followed by Romney with 31%, Gingrich with 18%, and Santorum with 10%.

Gingrich leads among those likely primary voters saying they are supporters of the Tea Party with 48%, followed by Romney with 19%, Santorum with 16%, and Paul with 14%. Gingrich leads with 33% among those saying they are not supporters of the Tea Party or are undecided about the Tea Party, followed by Romney with 31%, and Paul with 22%.

Gingrich leads Romney among men 38% to 25%, followed by Paul with 21%. Among women, Gingrich leads Romney 42% to 26%, followed by Paul with 16%, and Santorum with 13%.

Gingrich leads Romney 43% to 24% among likely Republican primary voters saying they will definitely vote

Just a week ago, Mitt Romney looked like the clear South Carolina winner, but once again this race has proved to be unpredictable and volatile. There is no doubt Gingrich's performances in two debates this week, one in Myrtle Beach Monday, the other in Charleston Thursday, have helped boost him well over Romney with conservative voters. Polls close in just under eight hours and the results are sure to shake up the race moving forward if Newt Gingrich wins, splitting the first three primary victories between three candidates: Santorum in Iowa, Romney in New Hampshire, and Gingrich in South Carolina.

I talked to a woman yesterday who is ready for the primary to be over because she is sick of getting 10 calls a day from candidates and Super PACs. She also said she would be voting for Newt Gingrich today.

Stay tuned to Townhall for election results starting at 7 pm EST at townhall.com/elections.


Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her new book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, will be published on July 8, 2014.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography