A new poll reaffirms that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the early leader in South Carolina's GOP presidential primary.
The poll, released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling, shows Romney leading in South Carolina and three other early-voting GOP contests: Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.
In South Carolina, which hosts the first-in-the-South Republican primary, Romney is favored by 27 percent.
The poll surveyed 1,000 voters who usually vote in the S.C. GOP primary. It had a margin or error of 3.1 percent, meaning it could overstate or understate support by that margin.
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He is trailed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 18 percent. Palin, the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2008, has not said whether she will run.
Both Romney and Palin have close ties to new S.C. Gov Nikki Haley. Romney's political action committees were heavy contributors to Haley's 2011 campaign. Palin appeared in Columbia to endorse Haley before the GOP primary.
Former Godfather Pizza chief executive Herman Cain and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, both from Georgia, each had 12 percent.
Others registering were: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachman of Minnesota, 9 percent; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, 7 percent; former Minnesota Gov. Tom Pawlenty, 4 percent; and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, 2 percent.
-- Gina Smith