Rick Santorum wins big South Carolina straw poll

by
April 10, 2011

By JONATHAN MARTIN | Politico

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Rick Santorum scored a decisive victory in a straw poll held Saturday among Republicans in South Carolina’s largest county.

The former Pennsylvania senator won 31 percent of the vote from a group of 413 activists who cast ballots at the Greenville County Republican convention.

Newt Gingrich came in second place, taking 14 percent, Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump each captured 7 percent to tie for third place.

Santorum and Gingrich both spoke at the meeting, offering hard-edged denunciations of President Barack Obama, and each has made multiple visits to the state in the last year. Santorum, in particular, has been a familiar presence in South Carolina, visiting the first-in-the-South primary state more than any other potential presidential candidate. Performing well in the conservative-heavy upstate of South Carolina is important in GOP primaries and Santorum is working hard to appeal to evangelicals here. He had a group of supporters from the nearby Christian school Bob Jones University in attendance Saturday.

Also addressing the Greenville Republicans was Haley Barbour. But the Mississippi governor’s speech received a more polite reception than the standing ovations Santorum and Gingrich drew and he won just 5 percent in the poll.

To read more, visit:  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/52865.html

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