Note: Click graphic to enlarge.

The two most recent polls in South Carolina have agreed. Mitt Romney is clearly ahead of Newt Gingrich, as his lead exceeds the margin of error in both the Rasmussen and Public Policy polls.

Looking back at the trend chart to the left, you can see a distinct change beginning with the January 6th Composite, immediately following an Iowa Caucus that produced a surprisingly good showing by Rick Santorum, an awful result by Newt Gingrich, and a win by Romney after virtually ignoring the state.

Another shift is clear beginning January 12, as Santorum’s momentum was nearly decimated in New Hampshire and Ron Paul finish in a solid second. Paul seemingly took some fringe Santorum supporters in South Carolina.

Today it appears there are three races in the Palmetto State. Romney and Gingrich for first, Santorum and Paul for third, and Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman for who drops out first. Based on the current PD Composite, a Romney win in this heavily evangelical state seems surprisingly probable.

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