The race for the Republican presidential nomination is now nearly even with Mitt Romney still on top but Newt Gingrich just three points apart.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters nationwide shows Romney with 30% support and Gingrich with 27% of the vote. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, who was running second two weeks ago, has now dropped to 15%.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul captures 13% support from likely primary voters, and Texas Governor Rick Perry remains in last place with four percent (4%). Another four percent (4%) like some other candidate in the race, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.
But, the big story here is Gingrich’s resurgence and Santorum’s seeming collapse. This poll was taken Tuesday night after the last South Carolina debate in which Gingrich was the CLEAR winner.
Is there enough time for Gingrich to surge in South Carolina?
But the story in the new numbers, taken Tuesday night, is Gingrich’s jump 11 points from 16% two weeks ago. Romney’s support is essentially unchanged from 29% at that time, while Santorum is down six points from 21%. Paul’s and Perry’s support is also unchanged. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman earned four percent (4%) of the vote at the start of the month but dropped out of the race this week. This suggests that many voters are still looking for an alternative to Romney and currently see Gingrich as that candidate.
Will Sarah Palin’s pronouncement last night on Fox News help?