Gingrich's lead over Romney shrinks

Dec. 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Newt Gingrich still leads the field of Republican U.S. presidential hopefuls, albeit by a smaller margin, a Gallup survey released Wednesday indicates.

Thirty-one percent of Republican registered voters said they are most likely to support the former House speaker for the nomination, compared with 22 percent who said they would pick former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, results indicated. All other candidates were in the single digits.

Since becoming the front-runner this month, Gingrich has seen initial support of 37 percent slip to 31 percent, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency reported. Romney's support has been fairly stable.

Gallup also asked Republican voters whether they think Gingrich or Romney is the better candidate to defeat President Obama in the 2012 general election. Forty-four percent said Gingrich and 40 percent said Romney.

Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews with 1,167 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents conducted Thursday through Monday. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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