(CNN) - Their presidential primary contest is a long way off, but as of right now a new poll indicates California Republicans are split between front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
California, along with Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, hold their contests on June 5. Only Ohio and Utah vote after the 5th. The battle for the GOP nomination could be long over by June, but if it does last, California, thanks to its size, could put the eventual nominee over the top.
According to a Field Poll released Wednesday, 26% of Golden State Republicans say they support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the White House, as their party's nominee, with 23% saying they back Gingrich, the former House speaker. Romney's three point margin is within the survey's sampling error.
All the other GOP presidential candidates register in the single digits in poll, with 26% undecided. And nearly eight in ten who say they are backing a candidate also say they may change their mind between now and next June.
About a quarter of California Republicans identify themselves with the tea party movement, and among them Gingrich leads Romney 38% to 18%. But among all other Republicans, Romney is ahead of Gingrich 29% to 18%.
California traditionally held its presidential primary in June, but starting in 1992 it moved up its contest. Now the state is back to holding their presidential primary in June. The last time a California primary in June was influential in deciding a party's presidential nominee was 1972.
The Field Poll was conducted November 15-27, with 1,000 registered voters, including 330 registered Republicans, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for GOP primary questions is plus or minus 5.7 percentage points.
– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN