Newt Gingrich continues to eclipse presumed front-runner Mitt Romney in the lastest tracking poll by the Public Policy Polling.
The first day of a three-day tracking survey puts Gingrich at 34 percent to 28 percent versus Romney in South Carolina. Ron Paul polled at 15 percent, Rick Santorum at 14 percent and Rick Perry at 5 percent (before he announced he dropped out of the race on Thursday), and Buddy Roemer was at 3 percent, PPP found.
While Romney's numbers have held steady, it is Gingrich who seems to be gaining support as other candidates lose steam, or drop out of the race altogether. Romney has steadily polled in the 28 to 30 percent range but Gingrich's numbers have gone up more than 10 points, from 23 percent to 34 percent over the last two weeks as Santorum loses ground and more undecided voters choose him.
Monday night's debate performance boosted Gingrich. PPP found that 56 percent of voters say they watched it, and with them Gingrich's lead over Romney is 43-27 percent. He also seems to have coalesced the tea party vote, with those voters giving him a 50-to-18-point advantage over Romney.
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