Mitt Romney continues to lead the pack in South Carolina, according to new polling released this morning, but with Newt Gingrich the clear second favorite of Republicans.

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP primary voters put Romney ahead with 28 percent support, but with former House Speaker Gingrich in second place with 21 percent of the vote.

Backing for former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum has fallen off. He was in second a week ago but after three days of campaigning here has fallen back to 16 percent.

That puts him at a popularity level with Texas Rep. Ron Paul who also is at 16 percent. The rest of the pack trailed at a distance.

The poll mirrors another new poll taken by the American Research Group this week and released today. Romney leads in that survey with 29 percent, with Gingrich in second with a 25 percent following. Paul is in third place with 20 percent.

"Paul has gained the most and Rick Santorum has lost the most since the last American Research Group survey on January 4-5," the pollsters said.

In that survey, Paul was at 9 percent and Santorum was at 24 percent.