Mitt Romney leads the GOP presidential field in South Carolina, but his rivals are closing in fast.

Newt Gingrich is close behind the former Massachusetts governor, while Ron Paul and Rick Perry have posted impressive gains over the past week, according to an American Research Group poll released on Friday.

Romney came in at 29 percent, followed by Gingrich at 25 percent, Paul at 20 percent, Perry at 9 percent, Rick Santorum at 7 percent and Jon Huntsman at 1 percent.

Paul has climbed 11 percent in the last week and Perry has gained 7 percent. Santorum, who was tied for second in last week’s poll at 24 percent, plummeted into fifth place in the current poll.

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