RELATED STORY: New Gingrich speaks in Jacksonville
Now leading the pack of Republican presidential candidates in national polls, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged in the early key states.
A Magellan Strategies poll for the New Hampshire Journal released on Friday found that Gingrich is now on the heels of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts in the Granite State. Romney has been leading in polls of the first primary state throughout the year.
Romney leads the poll with 29 percent followed by Gingrich with 27 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul stands in third with 16 percent followed by businessman Herman Cain with 10 percent. Gingrich was in third place with 10 percent while Romney led with 41 percent in a New Hampshire Journal poll taken back in October.
Former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah stands in fifth with 8 percent followed by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachamann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas who are tied with 2 percent each. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania lags behind with 1 percent.
The poll of 746 likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters was taken Nov. 15-16 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.59 percent.
Gingrich is also gaining momentum in Iowa, which will hold the first caucus, leading a poll from Rasmussen Reports released on Thursday. Gingrich tops the field in the Hawkeye State with 32 percent followed by Romney with 19 percent. Cain, who led a Rasmussen poll of Iowa back in October, has dropped to third with 13 percent, followed by Paul with 10 percent. Bachmann and Perry are tied for fifth with 6 percent each followed by Santorum with 2 percent and Huntsman with 1 percent.
In the Rasmussen poll of Iowa from October, Cain led with 28 percent followed by Romney with 21 percent, Paul in third with 10 percent and Gingrich in fourth with 9 percent. Perry had led back in September while Bachmann and Romney tied for the lead in August.
The poll of 700 likely Iowa Republican caucus voters was taken Nov. 15 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or at (850) 727-0859.