Romney's Lead Vanishing in South Carolina
Gingrich nipping at his heels in new poll
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2012 1:16 PM CST
Mitt Romney shakes hands with Newt Gingrich after a Republican debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Dec. 15, 2011.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Could South Carolina be Mitt Romney's first stumbling block? A new Insider Advantage poll has Romney falling to 23% in the state, an insignificant two points ahead of Newt Gingrich's 21%. Rick Santorum is well behind them with 14%, followed by Ron Paul with 13%, Jon Huntsman with 7%, and Rick Perry with 5%. (The poll did not include Stephen Colbert.)

The poll is Romney's worst showing since the start of the new year, with the past three polls having him at 37%, 27%, and 30%, according to the Hill. The poll, writes Justin Sink, also indicates that Santorum's post-Iowa boomlet is dying down following his less-than-impressive New Hampshire showing. Perry, too, seems to be missing the boost he had hoped for, in the early state presumably best demographically disposed to him.