(NEW YORK) — Newt Gingrich’s lead over rival Mitt Romney narrowed to three percentage points in Gallup’s latest national Republican tracking poll.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, the former speaker garners 26 percent of the vote, compared with 23 percent for Romney. That has narrowed sharply from the 15-point lead Gingrich enjoyed in early December.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul trailed behind the two, with 12 percent of the vote. Texas Gov. Rick Perry had 8 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman polled last with 1 percent.
Gingrich surpassed Romney in Gallup’s poll in mid-November. Unlike other candidates who surged and then fell, the former congressman from Georgia has maintained his lead. He is the favorite to win the Iowa caucus next week but Romney remains the favorite in New Hampshire, according to a Boston Globe poll released earlier Monday.
With his policy proposals gaining more attention, Paul widened his lead over the bottom four competitors in Gallup’s latest survey.
The latest tracking poll was conducted between Dec. 19 and Dec. 23. The campaigns took a break for the Christmas holiday this weekend, but will come out in full force in Iowa Tuesday as the caucus draws closer.
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Stephen Collinson, CNN
Tom Kludt and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN
Rachel Sande, EastIdahoNews.com