Gingrich Beats Media in South Carolina, 54 to 14

By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 21, 2012 | 5:20 PM EST

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the CNN debate in Charleston, S.C., on Jan. 19, 2012. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has defeated the national media in South Carolina by a margin of 54 percent to 14 percent, according to a survey conducted by a Democratic polling firm.

The poll, conducted by Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling (PPP), interviewed 1,540 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20. It showed that 54 percent of those voters said they had a favorable opinion of Gingrich while 37 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him.

At the same time, only 14 percent said they had a favorable opinion of the media, while 77 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the media.

The only Republican candidate who had a higher favorable rating than Gingrich was former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. None of the four remaining Republican presidential candidates had anywhere near as low a favorable rating as the media nor nearly as high an unfavorable rating.

Fifty-five percent said they had a favorable opinion of Santorum and 35 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him. Fifty-one percent said they had a favorable opinion of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 42 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him. Thirty-eight percent said they had a favorable opinion of Rep. Ron Paul and 53 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him.

According to the poll, the more conservative a South Carolina Republican primary voter is the more likely that voters is to have an unfavorable opinion of the media.

Among voters who said they were very conservative, 89 percent had an unfavorable opinion of the media and 6 percent had an favorable opinion. Among voters who said they were somewhat conservative, 78 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the media and 12 percent said they had a favorable opinion. Among voters who said they were moderate, 63 percent had a unfavorable opinion of the media, and 22 percent said they had a favorable opinion. Among voters who said they were somewhat liberal, 48 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the media and 37 percent said they had a favorable opinion.

Only among the most liberal voters were there more who said they had a favorable opinion of the media (52 percent) than said they had an unfavorable view (45 percent).

In the same PPP poll of South Carolina Republican primary voters, 37 percent said they were going to vote for Gingrich, 28 percent for Romney, 16 percent for Santorum, and 14 percent for Paul.

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