Final SC Poll: Gingrich 37, Romney 28, Santorum 16, Paul 14; 77 Percent Have Unfavorable View of Media

January 21, 2012 - 11:42 AM
Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Jan. 16, 2012. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - A poll of 1,540 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters completed on Friday night had former House Speaker Newt Gingrich leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 37 percent to 28 percent. The poll put former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in third with 16 percent, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas in fourth with 14 percent of the vote.

The poll was conducted Jan 18-20 by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling company based in Raleigh, N.C. It was done through automated telephone calls.

In just the polling done on Friday night, Gingrich actually led Romney, 40 percent to 26 percent.

"Gingrich's lead has actually increased in the wake of his ex-wife's controversial interview with ABC," PPP said in a press release accompanying the poll. "Although one night poll results should be interpreted with caution, he led the final night of the field period by a 40-26 margin. One thing that continues to work to his advantage are the debates. 60 percent of primary voters report having watched the one last [Thursday] night, and Gingrich has a 46-23 lead with those folks."

The poll asked the likely South Carolina Republican primary voters whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of the media. 77 percent said they had an unfavorable view and only 14 percent said they had a favorable view.

76 percent of the likely voters described themselves as "somewhat conservative" or "very conservative." Only 18 percent described themselves as moderates. 25 percent said they were a "member of the Tea Party." 56 percent said they were Evangelical Christians.