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Gingrich’s Lead Balloons from 1 to 15 Points in Gallup

9:12 AM, Dec 7, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Gallup’s polling of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now shows Newt Gingrich with a 15-point lead over runner-up Mitt Romney — 37 to 22 percent. In the previous Gallup poll, taken three weeks ago, Gingrich led Romney by just 1 point — 22 to 21 percent.  Gingrich appears to have acquired nearly all of the 16 percent support that Herman Cain had in the last poll, as the rest of the GOP field has collectively moved up only 3 percentage points in Cain’s absence.

Gingrich Newt

No other candidate has double-digit support in Gallup’s polling, which screened for registered voters.  Ron Paul has 8 percent support, Rick Perry 7, Michele Bachmann 6, Rick Santorum 3, and Jon Huntsman 1.

Gallup shows that those respondents who don’t support the Tea Party split pretty much right down the middle between Romney (28 percent support) and Gingrich (27 percent support), with Paul in third place with 10 percent support. Among those respondents who do support the Tea Party, Gingrich leads Romney by a whopping 30 points — 47 to 17 percent — with Bachmann in third place with 8 percent support.

Gingrich leads in all four geographical regions (East, Midwest, South, and West), in all three age groupings (under 35, 35 to 54, and 55 and up), and with both sexes.

The level of support for Gingrich is the highest that any Republican candidate has received in any of the 13 Gallup polls taken so far this year, and his 15-point margin is tied for the largest margin, equaling Romney’s advantage from six months ago — in early June.  In the five Gallup polls taken over the past three months, Romney has always registered between 20 and 24 percent support, while Gingrich’s level of support has risen steadily — from 5 percent, to 7 percent, to 12 percent, to 22 percent, and now to 37 percent.

Gingrich also now has a double-digit lead over Romney (31 to 20 percent) in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polling.

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