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-- Fox News alert and a brand new poll just out of Republican voters in South Carolina shows Saturday's primary.
Could be a game changer.
The Rasmussen poll conducted yesterday puts Newt Gingrich on top.
Mitt Romney two points behind making this race a dead heat it's all inside the margin of error.
But now with Texas governor Rick Perry -- you see there on the bottom of the screen with 2% support.
He's dropped out he's endorse Newt Gingrich and that makes it a whole new ball game.
Turning now the author of a brand new book that comes out later this month the people's money help voters will balance the budget and eliminate the federal debt.
Independent pollster Scott Rasmussen he is president.
A Rasmussen Reports dot com the company that are conducted this poll of people were you surprised to see Newt Gingrich there on top.
Well I wonder -- surprise except we've done a national poll the night before we saw this Gingrich surge taking place.
And what's happened the speaker has gained twelve points since Monday night it came pretty equally from Romney Santorum and Perry.
But this is a stunning turnaround part of -- was that debate part of that Sarah Palin's comments.
And you've also got to debate coming up that that while his typically -- strong point he he could pick up some more -- -- I suppose.
Well I I don't know how although the speaker could top Monday night so debate performance really was one of the best I've seen.
But then there's also the other factor of this interview -- one of his ex wives coming out.
This is going to be a tumultuous couple of days for this campaign.
About a third of the voters say they could still change their mind.
I think the message though -- you know regardless of where speaker Gingrich ends up.
Is there is still a vote out there for people who want to slow down the Romney campaign and want to either.
Make him campaign a little harder or perhaps find another nominee.
You asked to voters as well in South Carolina who would you vote for -- the vote were held today I'm sorry -- I'm talking about the favorability.
-- right now.
You asked what their -- opinion was.
Was it favorable or.
Unfavorable of of these various candidates.
When you combined the favorability.
You know very favorable and somewhat favorable numbers for both -- Mitt Romney.
And Newt Gingrich they're essentially tied again at 66%.
For Romney 64% for Gingrich.
That's right and again a big jump for Gingrich before Monday night's debate only 55%.
Had a favorable opinion of the former speaker.
Romney's numbers haven't changed all that much.
People still despite all the attacks on Bain Capital say Republican primary voters say that's still a reasonable form.
So the opinion of Romney is holding steady Gingrich has moved up in the last couple of days.
And we'll see if that favorability rating holds for Gingrich after that ABC interview with his second wife.
-- have final quads -- question who would be the strongest opponent to President Obama Scott that's one you asked.
42% say Mitt Romney 34% say it's Gingrich.
That's right much closer than it was before that last debate on Monday's poll.
Romney had a better than -- one advantage on this issue 49% to 23%.
So the perception of that feisty this side here lots of Republicans saying even those who don't like speaker Gingrich saying boy I sure would love to see him in a debate with President Obama.
So that perception of electability.
Helping the speaker right now raising doubts about governor Romney the other issue very significant we asked which Republican candidate would be best when it comes to the economy.
Say Romney 31%.
Say Gingrich so all of these indicators point to the fact it before.
People assimilate this next interview and before tonight's debate the race is very close in South Carolina.
Well very close but again we should point out these does this poll was taken before Governor Perry dropped out of its.
That's right and let's face it Governor Perry the voters abandoned him before he abandoned his race you're going -- percent support.
I suspect that'll be more likely to go to to speaker Gingrich -- to governor Romney.
But it's not that in itself is not a game changer most of those voters have already moved over to the Gingrich side.
Yeah and I suppose Governor Perry may have been seeing some results like dead in his own internal polling I mean his numbers seem to be going down.
In South Carolina and maybe that's why he decided to get out of the race now rather than wait for the actual vote.
Scott Rasmussen from Rasmussen Reports again thank you very much.
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