With 76 delegates on the line, Georgia ranks as the largest prize at stake on Super Tuesday -- and it looks like favorite son Newt Gingrich is headed for a victory in the Peach State.
Gingrich has been leading in the polls of the state in recent weeks and two surveys unveiled on Monday show that the former House speaker is in store for a big win in the state he represented in Congress for two decades.
A Rasmussen Reports poll of likely primary voters has Gingrich leading in Georgia with 37 percent. Mitt Romney is in a solid second place with 27 percent, followed by Rick Santorum with 18 percent and Ron Paul trailing with 10 percent. Two percent back other candidates and 6 percent remain undecided. The poll, with 750 respondents, was taken March 4 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
An American Research Group poll finds Gingrich ahead of the Republican pack in Georgia by a larger margin -- beating his nearest competitor by 20 percent.
Gingrich leads the ARG poll with 44 percent. Romney places a distant second with 24 percent. Santorum takes third with 19 percent, followed by Paul with 9 percent. One percent back other candidates and 3 percent remain undecided. The poll of 600 likely Georgia Republican primary voters was taken March 3-5 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
While he has spent recent days on the campaign trail in Oklahoma and Tennessee, both of which also have primaries on Tuesday, Gingrich held a bus tour of Georgia this past weekend and has been leading in the polls there in the past weeks.
Still, the Gingrich camp, which has not had a win since the South Carolina primary, showed no signs of taking Georgia for granted. On Monday, the Gingrich team unveiled the support of 14 pastors and religious leaders from across the state
Christian writer and media personality Michael Youssef, an Atlanta Christian author and broadcaster who endorsed Gingrich earlier in the race and helps lead the candidates Faith Leaders Coalition, praised the former House speaker on Monday.
Newt is the one candidate who has the depth and knowledge to tackle the complex issues facing our nation today, Youssef said. I know he is a man of faith who will ask God to guide him in leading our country and keep our nation safe.
Gingrich played up the importance of his support from the pastors and pledged to protect religion in the public square.
These faith leaders are important spiritual advisers to me and my campaign, Gingrich said in a statement. With Gods help and the American people, I want to be the next president and defend religious liberty among other issues important to those of faith.
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