Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among South Carolina Republicans, but not by much, according to a new Winthrop poll released today.
And an even bigger shocker may be this: Among the state's Republicans, almost 30 percent believe President Obama is a Muslim.
Only 33.3 percent of South Carolina Republicans polled correctly identified Obama as a Christian.
Seventeen percent said he was of multiple faiths or some other faith, while 15 percent refused to answer the question.
Among state Republicans who say they definitely plan to vote in next year's presidential primary, Perry was favored by 30.5 percent of those polled, compared to Romney's 27.3 percent.
The margin of error among the 596 Republicans sampled is plus or minus 4.5 percent.
The Republicans' next favorite choice for president was former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, with 7.7 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — who is not in the race — narrowly edged former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, 5.8 percent to 5.3 percent respectively. Eleven percent said they weren't sure.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann received 3.5 percent, and all others received less than 2 percent.
Gov. Nikki Haley said that it is still too early for anybody to be considered the front runner.
"I think the people of South Carolina are asking the hard questions and, like me, they're watching the debates and seeing how they handle it," Haley said. "I think it's as much her game as anybody else's. Look at me and my race. I had no name ID and numbers at the time. Anything can happen."
Haley said she is not any closer to making a decision on who to back.
"When the time comes, I will endorse based on what I think governors want in a president and what the governor of South Carolina wants in a president," Haley said. "I think governors have had to face challenges we've never had to face before and we need more of a strong president in ways that we've never needed before."
As for the poll finding that nearly 70 percent of South Carolina Republicans and Republican-leaning individuals approve of Haley's performance so far, the governor said, "Polls are polls. My number one goal is to get people back to work in South Carolina. That's the only poll I care about."