Newt Gingrich’s lead over Mitt Romney in our latest Dec. 10-14 Gallup Daily tracking of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents has shrunk to five percentage points. That’s down from a 15-point lead in our first report of tracking for Dec. 1-5.
Gingrich at two separate points this month registered the support of 37% of Republicans. His support is now at 29%. Republican support for Romney, “Mr. Steady,” hasn’t moved much at all, fluctuating on a daily basis in our reports between 22% and 25%. He’s at 24% now.
As Gingrich has slipped, the percentage of Republicans who are undecided has edged up, from 14% when we started to 18% today. Ron Paul is now in third place at 10%, a couple of points up from where he started, while Michele Bachmann is at 7%, Rick Perry at 5%, Rick Santorum at 4%, and Jon Huntsman at 2%.
This GOP race continues to be one of the most fascinating in recent memory. I’ve been asked frequently if Gingrich will emulate the rainbow pattern of Perry and Herman Cain, both of whom shot up to lead the GOP pack, only to crash back to earth. Gingrich is still leading, to be sure, so he has not crashed yet. But his trajectory at the moment is beginning to look somewhat “rainbow-esque.”
The Republicans will hold their 13th and final GOP debate tonight in Iowa, and what transpires there may change things once again. Make sure to monitor Gallup’s Daily tracking of the GOP race to get the latest update each day at 1pm. We report on a five-day rolling average of well over 1,000 Republicans, so our results provide a constantly up-to-date, solid estimate of the views of the average Republican voter out there across the country.