Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has taken the top spot for the first time in poll averages compiled by The New York Times
and Real Clear Politics
for Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
The Times average has the former House speaker leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 35.4 percent to 32.7 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul takes third place with 16 percent and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is fourth with 12.9 percent.
In the Real Clear average, Gingrich leads Romney 32.5 percent to 31.5 percent. Paul sits in third place with 14 percent and Santorum is fourth with 11.8 percent.
The Times average comes from 22 surveys taken from Jan. 11 to Jan. 19. It is weighted according to a polling firm's accuracy, the freshness of a poll, and each candidate's momentum. Gingrich was ahead in six out of nine of the most recent surveys.
Real Clear’s result represents a simple average of four polls taken Jan. 17 to Jan. 19. The polls come from Public Policy Polling, Rasmussen Reports, InsiderAdvantage, and Politico/Tarrance. Gingrich was ahead in three of the four surveys.
The Times also rates candidates’ chances of winning. Gingrich is at 62 percent and Romney at 38 percent.
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