Libertarian-leaning Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) is outperforming the odd-on Republican frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), in the key GOP primary state of Iowa, according to a new poll out on Sunday.
It’s the third poll so far to confirm Paul’s emergence as a leading candidate for the Republican nomination to the presidency. A second poll, also released this weekend, found Paul trailing Romney by 1 percent — well within the margin of error.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) earned 25 percent support among likely Republican caucus voters polled by The Des Moines Register — a massive upswing from the seven percent backing he earned in the Iowa newspaper’s last poll in October.
Paul moved into second place with 18 percent support, ahead of Romney, who earned just 16 percent, according to the newspaper.
“So, I think we continue to do what we’re doing,” he said during the interview. “We’ve had the flavors of the month up and down so far in this campaign. I’d like to think of myself as the flavor of the decade.”
In the Register poll, Herman Cain — who on Saturday suspended his presidential bid amid allegations of sexual harassment and adultery — and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann each earned eight percent support. Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum each garnered six percent support, and former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman took two percent.
An NBC News poll (PDF) of Iowans similarly found Gingrich leading at 26 percent, with Paul and Romney trailing closely behind at 17 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
A Bloomberg News poll last month found Paul in a similar position with Iowa voters, trailing former frontrunner Herman Cain by just 1 percent, with Romney and Gingrich close behind.
The Iowa caucuses kick off next year’s election season on Jan. 3.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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