Discuss as:

Poll: Romney holds big lead in S.C.

Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead in South Carolina in the latest CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll, paving a clear path for the former Massachusetts governor to pull off an unprecedented sweep of the three early states on his way to the Republican nomination.

Romney leads with 37%, a 17-point jump from early December, the last time the poll was conducted.

And who says momentum doesn't matter? The two candidates who finished in a virtual tie in Iowa -- Romney and Rick Santorum are first and second in the Palmetto State in the poll. Santorum though is further back with 19%, but that represents a 15-point bounce from the December poll.

Newt Gingrich has seen his huge 23-point lead in December completely evaporate. Gingrich is now third with 18%, a drop from 43% in the last poll.

Ron Paul also made a move, going from 6% to 12%, for fourth.