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Rasmussen: Iowa Support for Gingrich Falling, Romney Now the Frontrunner

9:30 AM, Dec 15, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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Well, Scott Rasmussen's been busy since he stepped off THE WEEKLY STANDARD cruise last week. Take a breath:

Iowa: Romney 23%, Gingrich 20%, Paul 18%

Rasmussen dryly notes, "For the fifth straight survey, the GOP field has a new frontrunner in Iowa."

Byron York offers some additional analysis on Gingrich's falling support from Iowa movers and shakers:

In mostly private conversations, well-connected Iowa Republicans say they have sensed a drop-off in support for Gingrich in the last few days. "People are saying OK, let's reassess this," one insider says of voter opinion on Gingrich. "Is this really a decision we want to make?  What I'm hearing is thinking about the general election and the unpredictable nature of him as our nominee. I don't have any empirical data to back it up, but it's just a feeling I've gotten in the last 24 hours."

Gingrich has been the target of a barrage of attack ads on Iowa television and radio, particularly from Paul, Romney, and Perry.  The consensus among Iowa GOP insiders is that those ads are beginning to take a toll.  "That stuff has an impact, where people are at least going to pause" in their enthusiasm for Gingrich, says Bob vander Plaats, an influential Iowa social conservative leader.

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