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Ron Paul Places Second Behind Mitt Romney in National Poll

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul places second behind Mitt Romney in a Reuters/Ipsos national poll unveiled on Tuesday.

Romney leads with 29 percent, followed by Paul with 21 percent. Newt Gingrich edges Rick Santorum for third, taking 19 percent, with Santorum right on his heels at 18 percent.

The poll of 405 Republicans was taken Feb. 2-6 and had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Almost every other national poll shows Romney in first, followed by Gingrich and Santorum while Paul places fourth.

The Paul camp is trumpeting the new poll, though their candidate is not expected to win in any of the three states -- Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri -- holding primaries Tuesday.

This poll further illustrates that Ron Paul is emerging as the real conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, and that he can also obtain the needed support from independents and disenfranchised Democrats to defeat President Obama in November, Jesse Benton, Pauls campaign chairman, said Tuesday.

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