The revolving carousel of Republican presidential leaders in South Carolina has taken another turn; this time, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is leading in the Palmetto State.
According to an Insider Advantage poll of 519 registered voters, Gingrich, in fact, has a commanding lead – 38 percent to only 15 percent for onetime S.C. leader, Mitt Romney, and 13 percent for another onetime S.C. leader, Herman Cain.
A Polling Co. survey earlier in November also found Gingrich in the lead but by a narrower 31-17 percent margin over Cain, with Romney at 16 percent.
Gingrich’s lead in the Palmetto State comes as the Georgia Republican is making a three-day swing through the state, which holds its GOP primary on Jan. 21.
It also comes as the candidacy of Cain, the former pizza chain chief executive, appears to be on the verge of collapse. Cain told aides Tuesday he is assessing whether the latest allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior against him “create too much of a cloud” for his candidacy to go forward.
Cain’s departure from the presidential race could set the stage for the GOP contest, at one time featuring nine candidates, to refocus into a two-way contest between Romney, long considered the front-runner and favorite, and a single not-Romney candidate, Gingrich.
It also marks a remarkable rebound for Gingrich who led in the state last May, according to one poll, but then slumped into the single digits as first Romney, then Texas Gov. Rick Perry, then Cain, then Romney again took the S.C. lead.
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