Gingrich tours S.C. with large lead in polls

Updated:

NEWBERRY, S.C.,None - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is campaigning in South Carolina, just days after a new poll showed the former House Speaker with strong support.

 Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary traveled to Newberry, S.C., where Gingrich held a town hall meeting Tuesday night. Gingrich told Republican supporters at the Newberry Opera House that South Carolina will be the decisive primary, and he can win.

 An InsiderAdvantage poll released Monday night showed Gingrich with a 23 percent lead over his nearest competitor, Mitt Romney.  The poll showed Herman Cain in third followed by Ron Paul and Rick Perry.

 "My prediction to all of you is the economic recovery will begin late on election night when people realize Obama is gone," Gingrich said.

 Answering to critics of his plan to deal with illegal immigrants by granting a path to legal status for some, Gingrich promised to secure the border in less than a year.

InsiderAdvantage Poll

South Carolina GOP Primary

 
Newt Gingrich 38%
Mitt Romney 15%
Herman Cain 13%
Ron Paul 7%
Rick Perry 4%
Michelle Bachmann 3%
Rick Santorum 2%
Other 5%
Undecided 13%
Margin of error +/- 4%  
519 registered SC voters  

 "We will have complete control of the border by Jan. 1, 2014," Gingrich said.

 There were several light moments as Gingrich spoke to the capacity crowd, in a county that voted 60 percent Republican in the last presidential campaign. Gingrich talked about his health, and the challenges of weight loss.

 "I just find it really hard to lose weight. God wanted me to be a bear, not a gazelle,” he said.

Gingrich also told Geary he’s rooting for the team from his home state in this weekend’s Southeastern Conference football championship game.

 "This is an act of faith, not rational calculation, but I'll be pulling for Georgia," Gingrich said.

 The town hall was Gingrich's fourth stop in South Carolina in two days. Gingrich will also host a town hall meeting in Greenville on Wednesday morning.

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