Romney braces for final full day in South Carolina



NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Front-runner Mitt Romney and his presidential pursuers enter the final full day of campaigning in a South Carolina GOP primary contest significantly altered from just 24 hours earlier.

Romney is looking to fend off challenges to his fragile lead from more conservative rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. The field, including Ron Paul, scrambled for the shreds of support left by Texas Gov. Rick Perry who quit the race Thursday.

Perry’s departure, a raucous Charleston debate and fresh reminders of Gingrich’s tumultuous personal life promise to make the dash to Saturday’s voting frenetic.

With Romney clinging to a narrow lead and Gingrich closing in, Santorum is aiming for the top tier. Paul is also a factor as the field of GOP hopefuls scatters across the Palmetto State on Friday.