Gingrich carries double-digit lead into Georgia primary

The poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, shows Gingrich with the support of 38 percent of respondents. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are essentially tied for second place, with Romney favored by 24 percent and Santorum 22 percent. Only 3 percent of those polled said they plan to vote for Ron Paul.

Another 12 percent are undecided. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Gingrich leads in all regions of the state but enjoys his heaviest support in North Georgia, where 42 percent of respondents say they will vote for the former House speaker. Romney, who won 30 percent of the vote in the 2008 Georgia primary, does better in metro Atlanta, where he's the choice of 28 percent. Santorum's numbers are best in Middle and South Georgia.

Georgia's 76 delegates are the most at stake in the 10 states that vote on Super Tuesday. While Gingrich has a clear lead here, the race for second is obviously close. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, and Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, must hope to stay above 20 percent in Georgia because of the state's new rules for awarding delegates.

Any candidate who gets at least 20 percent of the statewide vote will be awarded a share of 34 at-large delegates to the national convention in Tampa this summer. Forty-two delegates will be awarded based on the vote by congressional district.

Read the complete results in the Sunday Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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