Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are tied for the first time in a national survey of Republican voters, solidifying the GOP race as a two-man contest, according to the latest Gallup Poll
Romney's 23-percentage-point lead of a week ago among Republican voters has been wiped out, and the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat, with 29 percent for Romney and 28 percent for Gingrich. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have much lower numbers, with Santorum at 12 percent and Ron Paul at 11 percent, respectively.
Romney had a 23-point lead over Gingrich on Jan. 11-15. The latest poll shows Romney dropping 8 points and Gingrich gaining 14 points.
The latest Gallup poll was conducted Jan. 18-22, and includes Gingrich's 12-point victory over Romney in Saturday's South Carolina Republican primary.
Gallup attributes some of Gingrich's gains to his strong performance in the South Carolina debates and not just to his win on Saturday.
According to Galllup, "Gingrich's gains over the last week have come mostly among conservative Republicans, one of the groups that has been most 'in play' throughout the Republican presidential nomination process."
Between Jan. 9-15 and Jan. 16-22, Gingrich's support among conservative Republican registered voters increased from 16 percent to 28 percent, the poll found. Romney's support among conservatives fell between these two weeks, from 36 percent to 28 percent. By contrast, Romney's support among moderate and liberal Republicans held constant across these two weeks, while Gingrich gained six points.
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