Rasmussen's Newest GOP Numbers

And it's all good for this guy:

Rasmussen in South Carolina:
What a difference a caucus makes. Rick Santorum who two months ago had one percent (1%) support among likely South Carolina Republican Primary voters now is running a close second there with 24% of the vote.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Palmetto State finds former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney still in the lead, earning 27% support from likely GOP Primary Voters, up from 23% in early November. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is in third with 18% of the vote, followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 11%.

Bringing up the rear are Texas Governor Rick Perry with five percent (5%) and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman at two percent (2%). Another two percent (2%) of these likely primary voters like some other candidate, and 11% remain undecided.
See also: Rasmussen Reports' national GOP poll:
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, coming off his photo finish with Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses, is now in second place among Republican voters in the race for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, taken the night after the caucuses, shows Romney again in first place with support from 29% of Likely Republican Primary Voters, followed by Santorum with 21%.
My emphases.

So, the takeaway points are:

1) Rick Santorum's near-win in Iowa has catapulted him from the back-of-the-pack, to front runner status -- nearly overnight.

2) Rick Perry, on the other hand, has fallen quite dramatically from a top-tier candidate to the proverbial bottom of the barrel. He only garners 3% more support than Jon Huntsman.

3) Lastly, and most importantly, Romney is leading the pack -- IN SOUTH CAROLINA. Previously, as recently as earlier this week, the conventional wisdom was that Mitt Romney would perform moderately in Iowa and (likely) poorly in South Carolina. Clearly Romney did fine in Iowa -- and now is leading in the South Carolina polling.

Now, grain of salt with polling numbers, but I think that Romney is inching closer and closer to becoming the nominee.

Photo: David Goldman/AP photo