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Gallup’s latest tracking poll has Gingrich with 33 percent at Romney 10 points behind at 23. Ron Paul is a distant third with nine percent, followed by Rick Perry at six, Michelle Bachman at five and everyone else with two percent or less.
Fox News shows Gingrich at 36 percent, Romney at 23, Paul at 12, Perry at eight and Bachmann at five. The latest Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey puts Gingrich at 36, Romney at 23, the now-departed Herman Cain at eight, Perry at six and Bachmann and Paul tied at four.
“This is a Gingrich-Romney race now,” says GOP consultant Rick Leary. “Everyone else is an afterthought.”
Some strategists still feel Paul could be a spoiler but the majority of GOP strategists polled by Capitol Hill Blue over the weekend said the Texas Congressman is lost in the spotlight focused on the struggle between Gingrich and Romney. CNN/Opinion Research’s poll put Paul behind Cain and Perry in November and Cain’s withdrawal appears to benefit Gingrich more than anyone else.
“This race is turning into a battle of two political heavyweights named Mitt and Newt,” says Leary. “Everyone else is now an also-ran.”