Mitt Romney fending off Gingrich in New Hampshire

DES MOINES, IA - DECEMBER 10: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney points to former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as he speaks speak at the ABC News GOP Presidential Debate on the campus of Drake University on December 10, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. Rivals were expected to target front runner Gingrich in the debate hosted by ABC News, Yahoo News, WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register and the Iowa GOP. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Newt Gingrich's surge in the polls has not gotten him within shouting distance of Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, according to a new Suffolk University/7NEWS poll of likely voters in the state.

Still, the gap seems to be narrowing.

Romney, who stands at 38 percent support in the survey, has a comfortable lead over Gingrich, who won the support of 20 percent of likely voters. In third was Jon Huntsman with 13 percent support - an uptick for him - followed by Ron Paul at 8 percent. The other candidates were in the low single digits.

Still, Romney's lead is down from the 27-point advantage he held in the middle of November. Gingrich, meanwhile, has gained six points in one month. New Hampshire is widely seen as a must-win state for the former Massachusetts governor, who has a summer home in the Granite State and who has long held a huge advantage in the polls. On the plus side for Romney, 59 percent of voters in the survey said he could best manage the economy - compared to just 20 percent for Gingrich. And 70 percent called him the candidate best suited to the presidency.

Huntsman has essentially camped out in New Hampshire in hopes of an upset victory to kickstart his long-shot campaign. He finished second to Romney among independent voters - who can vote in the state's GOP primary, and who will not have a serious Democratic primary to consider - and the poll prompted celebration from the Huntsman team, which sent a fundraising email pointing to that poll to suggest the former Utah governor is "surging."

Less than one month remains before voters go to the polls in New Hampshire for the nation's first primary on January 10, which comes one week after the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

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