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National Poll: Gingrich 37, Romney 28

9:29 AM, Jan 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Newt Gingrich has a sizable lead over his Republican rival Mitt Romney. NBC reports: 

Gingrich leads Romney 37 percent to 28 percent nationally among registered Republicans likely to vote in the primaries; Rick Santorum is in third with 18 percent, and Ron Paul is fourth with 12 percent.

There is a bit of a problem for Gingrich, however. "Though Gingrich is the preferred candidate of GOP primary voters, he performs the worst of all Republican candidates tested against Obama, including Santorum," NBC reports.

Romney fares best against the president, trailing Obama by six points among registered voters, 49 percent to 43 percent. That’s a four-point improvement for the president from a month ago.

Obama, however, beats Gingrich by a whopping 18 points, 55-37 percent, expanding the president’s 11-point lead a month ago.

Santorum also loses to Obama, but by a narrower margin, 53-38 percent, than Gingrich.

But there is also good news for Gingrich. "Gingrich is also viewed as the most electable candidate by GOP primary voters. He leads Romney 2-to-1 among those who picked electability as mattering most to them in a candidate. He holds a narrow lead, 46-44 percent, among those say views on issues matter most," says NBC.

The poll was released last night, so it does not take into account last night's debate in Florida. 

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