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Poll: Gingrich Pulls Closer to Romney in N.H.; Huntsman Breaks Into Double Digits

Poll: Gingrich Pulls Closer to Romney in N.H.; Huntsman Breaks Into Double Digits

By Kyle Adams - November 29, 2011


Days after landing an endorsement from the influential New Hampshire Union Leader, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has pulled to within 10 points of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, a new poll shows.

Meanwhile, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has banked his entire campaign on a strong performance in the Granite State, has risen into double digits for the first time.

The Rasmussen Reports poll shows Romney, who owns a house in New Hampshire and has focused most of his campaign efforts on winning the state, leading the GOP field with 34 percent support. Gingrich has 24 percent, a 16-point increase since Rasmussen's last poll of the state in late October. Texas Rep. Ron Paul sits in third place with 14 percent, and Huntsman comes in fourth with 11 percent, up from 7 percent in the last Rasmussen poll. None of the other candidates reaches double digits.

After being left for dead by many observers in the summer after a massive staff exodus, Gingrich has surged to the top of national and state polls in recent weeks. And in the wake of the Union Leader endorsement, his campaign is starting to sense momentum in the nation's first primary state. He has sought to fulfill the desire among many Republican voters for an alternative to Romney, long considered the front-runner in the field.

"I don't claim to be the perfect candidate," Gingrich said on WCS-AM in South Carolina on Monday. "I just claim to be a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney and a lot more electable than anybody else."

He went on to say that "there has to be a solid conservative alternative to Mitt Romney."

Meanwhile, Romney's campaign has largely ignored Gingrich, instead sticking to its strategy of hammering President Obama on the economy.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed 762 likely New Hampshire primary voters on Monday. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. 

Kyle Adams can be reached at kadams@realclearpolitics.com.

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