Mitt Romney now leads other candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in South Carolina, a key early primary state.
The political Web site RealClearPolitics compiled an average of several polls in the state and found Romney with a slight lead over his closest rival, Rudy Giuliani. Romney averaged 19.3 percent of the votes in the polls, while Giuliani’s figure was 19 percent, followed by Fred Thompson (18.3 percent), John McCain (12.3 percent) and Mike Huckabee (6 percent).
One recent South Carolina poll in particular, by American Research Group, has Romney ahead of Giuliani by 6 percentage points.
South Carolina could prove to be a pivotal state for the GOP candidates. A win in the state’s primary gave George W. Bush a big boost in 2000 after McCain had won New Hampshire, and a Romney victory in this race would show that he could win other states in the South.
RealClearPolitics’ average of several polls in early caucus state Iowa has Romney ahead of Giuliani by 13.5 percentage points. In early primary state New Hampshire, the Web site’s average puts Romney ahead of Giuliani by 8 percentage points.
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