South Carolina primary voters say Mitt Romney ran most unfair campaign: poll


With news outlets forecasting Newt Gingrich as the victor of the South Carolina primary, an early CBS News exit poll showed 30 percent of the state’s Republican voters believing Mitt Romney ran the most unfair campaign.

Gingrich trailed at second place with 26 percent of Republican voters in South Carolina saying his campaign was the most unfair. Ron Paul was voted third at 16 percent.

The South Carolina primary upset of GOP presidential front runner Romney saw Gingrich leading the pack in the unpredictable race for presidency.

Early poll results showed Gingrich leading at 40.4 percent with Romney at a distant 26.5 percent. Rick Santorum currently sits at 17.8 percent of the votes with Ron Paul at 13.5 percent.

More from GlobalPost: Newt Gingrich wins South Carolina Republican primary 

The New York Times reported:

“Just 10 days ago after Mr. Romney left New Hampshire as the presumed front-runner, he is now one of three Republicans to have won one of the first three nominating contests, having been stripped of his incorrectly declared victory in the Iowa caucuses this week, a victory was instead given instead to Rick Santorum, who placed third on Saturday.”

The surge of more than $12 million campaign dollars spent in mostly attack ads in South Carolina by Republican presidential candidates and their super PACS undoubtedly played a factor.

More form GlobalPost: Winning Our Future, pro-Gingrich super PAC, defends 'King of Bain' ads attacking Mitt Romney 

South Carolina primary Republican voters also noted how important the televised debates played an impact on who they would vote for – events Gingrich has been portrayed as a clear rival for Romney.

About one in two Republican voters in the state said they made up their mind about which candidate they would support within the last few days, according to the CBS News poll.

Additionally, two out of three of the the voters said the Republican presidential debates played a critical factor in their voting decision while one out of three said the debates were not important aspects.

“For Mr. Gingrich, the victory marked a decisive revival for a candidacy that had been declared dead at least twice, and that came back to life in the last days before the primary here partly because of his commanding debate performances, which his aides are using as a selling point in their argument that he provides the best challenge to President Obama,” The Times wrote. 

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