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New Iowa poll: Romney leads, Gingrich slips, Santorum rises

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Homer's Deli and Bakery in Clinton, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Just six days ahead of the Iowa caucuses, a new poll of Iowa Republicans suggests that Newt Gingrich's political star may be falling in Iowa, where the former House speaker now comes in fourth behind frontrunner Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and surprise third-place finisher Rick Santorum.

The poll, conducted by CNN/Time/ORC from December 21-27, shows Romney leading Paul 25 percent to 22 percent in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, while Santorum trails with 16 percent. Gingrich earned 14 percent. Romney's three point lead falls within the poll's margin of error, which was 4.5 percent.

Behind Gingrich came Rick Perry with 11 percent, Michele Bachmann with 9 percent, and Jon Huntsman with one percent. Two percent of respondents said they had no opinion.

Gingrich has fallen dramatically in the last month, compared to a poll conducted by the same group between November 29-Dec. 6. In that survey, Gingrich led the pack in Iowa with 33 percent support. Mitt Romney trailed him by 13 points, with 20 percent, and Ron Paul followed him with 17 percent. Santorum, at the time, was not even polling in the double digits: He earned just five percent a month ago.

Iowans, however, appear more confident about their choices then they did a month ago. According to the latest survey, 54 percent of Republican caucus-goers say they will definitely support the candidate they selected, while 43 percent said they still might change their mind. In the survey a month ago, 55 percent said they might change their mind, and only 39 percent said they would definitely support the candidate they had named.

In a New Hampshire poll by the same organizations, Romney has eclipsed the competition. According to the survey, Romney, who owns a house there, earned 44 percent, followed by Paul with 17 percent, Gingrich with 16 percent, and Jon Huntsman with 9 percent.

Romney is up nine points from last month, when he was polling at 35 percent in the state; Gingrich, on the other hand, has seen his polls drop ten points, from 26 to 16, in the same time.

Santorum fell back to fifth place in the Granite state, according to Wednesday's survey, with just four percent. Bachmann followed him with three percent and Perry earned two percent.