Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a 23 percentage point lead over his closest rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, according to a Gallup survey of registered Republican voters nationwide.
The tracking poll, taken between Jan. 11 and Jan. 15, shows Romney with 37 percent support. Tied for a distant second are former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 14 percent each, followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 12 percent support.
The survey showed Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 5 percent support and Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who
Romney, the winner of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, has seen a steady, double-digit increase in national support since the January 3 caucuses. Gingrich, by contrast, has been in freefall, dropping from 37 percent support in December.
A new CNN/ORC International poll, also released Monday, showed Romney and Paul statistically tied with President Obama in a general election matchup. Mr. Obama was favored over Santorum by six points and over Gingrich by nine points.
The survey, released ahead of this evening's GOP presidential debate in South Carolina, showed voters trust Romney more than the president on the economy: 53 percent say Romney could get the economy moving, compared to 40 percent for Mr. Obama.
On the question of who is in touch with ordinary Americans, however, Mr. Obama holds the edge: 53 percent say the president is in touch with ordinary Americans, compared to 41 percent for Romney.