(CNN) - Despite big gains in the polls for Newt Gingrich in several key early voting states, fellow GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney still maintains a wide advantage in the first-in-the-nation-primary state of New Hampshire.
According to a new poll out Wednesday, Romney leads Gingrich in the state 38% to 20%, with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman making a significant bump to third place with 13%.
The Suffolk University/7NEWS poll showed that while Romney still holds the top spot, his numbers have dropped and his margin with Gingrich has narrowed from 27 to 18 percentage points since the poll was last done in mid-November.
Romney was polling last month at 41% of support, with Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul each following behind at 14%.
Also notable, Huntsman saw his highest numbers yet in the Granite State, where he has largely focused his campaign resources in hopes of winning the primary on Jan. 10.
Huntsman leaped from 9% to 13% over the last month, replacing Paul for third place. The poll credits his surge to more support among independents, a voting bloc allowed to take part in the state's open primary.
"If independents participate in a big way next January, Huntsman will benefit," said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University's Political Research Center. "While other candidates have focused on the more traditional Republican voters, Huntsman has traction among independents, who could dominate the Republican Primary if mobilized."
The other candidates all polled in the single digits, with Paul at 8%, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 3%, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 2% and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 1%.
Meanwhile, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who announced his candidacy in July, came in with 2%. Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain also received 2%, but he suspended his campaign in early December.
Suffolk University Political Research Center surveyed 400 likely voters in New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary via telephone from Dec. 10-13, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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Jon Huntsman is the only reasonable candidate in the race and the most intelligent. As you can see by the polls, that is not what the modern day republicans want. They want extremists and borderline facists.
Cain scored more than Perry and Santorum and almost beat Bachmann and he's no longer in the race. Huntsman will rise but I think it's too little too late – Romney will win NH!!
Huntsman is the only Republican candidate offering a choice to President Obama. He is a hybrid between a traditional conservative and a moderate Democrat. The right-wing will hate him.
I love that image of Mitt
The Fish that Got Away !
Watch Huntsman surprise everyone as time goes on and at least perry and bacman give up after Iowa and NH
It is possible also Ron paul will give up though I doubt he will do so until after Florida. Personally i see romney and Huntsman as the two left standing at the Republican convention.
Huntsman is the smartest, governing, capable, leading, enduring figures in politics. And thanks to the new primary rules which incites radicals take the rise in both parties, he'll lose. Give this man abreak and the country will have a chance.
Mitt Romney, the Bainn Capital hedge fund manager is the king of OUTSOURCING American jobs. Decent middle class jobs were shipped en masse to communist CHINA by Mitt and his banker buddies. And what did the average american get? New skills – how to fill out first time unemployment skills.
Romney, something about Hmmn, cannot put my hand on it but, he's cloaking. Sure hope we see the real Roney before al the bets are placed on him. Wishful thiking of course...
This is great news; as Gingrich begins to lose his shine and Romney never had one Huntsman now is looking better all the time. He's conservative enough to gain pragmatic TP support and even keeled enough to win the independents over.
Still got my vote Mr Cain. Herman my man, my main man,the "hermanator" got the nwo scared to death . The man will allow the states to enforce the dadgum law against mehicos invasion of our lives! That would ruin everything for the nwo. Illegals must have murdered at least 250 000 americans in the last 50 years. Cant you hear their blood scream for justice from their graves? Our american brothers and sisters victims of federal ethnic cleansing! Sometimes at night i can hear a car horn stuck on as if in an accident,then another and another and so on when one goes silent the tune is carried on by others till they fill the night with the constant blare,the horrific ane sickening symphony of americans getting wiped out by illegal "hispanic" drivers, theyre wiping out entire families daily
Maybe it's just me, but I honestly think Romney is starting to resemble the Rev Peter Popoff, the guy on Sunday morning TV who preaches and does magic healing before our very eyes. If Romney promises one more other-worldly thing, we'll know he has lost it mentally. He has already changed everything about himself and any day now I am waiting for him to change his name to Mitt Reagan. It could happen!
Hey Ashley are'nt you forgetting someone? It amazes me how you morons even hold a job when you can't even count. But I digress, Ron Paul doesn't need your voice because he has the voice of millions of people whether they know it or not. Love your country and your freedoms? Ron Paul. Don't care, not important or like what you see now? Then pick any of the other puppets, Obama included.
Huntsman is a real conservative that appeals to Independents because he's honest, smart, and trustworthy. Hopefully the GOP will realize he can beat Obama and make the best President we've had in a long time
Of course Romney is going to be the nominee. He has the total Bush administration 100% behind him. (Cheney, Rove, Daniels, Jeb, Geo H W Bush, Sununu, GW Bush advisors Romney hired) A vote for Romney is a vote for a return to GWBush policies and Romney is the new puppet.
Buddy Roemer polls higher than Rick Perry! Oh, this is too rich!
It is about time that Huntsman gained some ground. He seems to be the only rational one of the lot. Unfortunately, I don't think that he'll get the nomination though.
Gingrich too arragant and lots of baggage. Romney also has ?? all around him. HUNTSMAN is SOLID, has GOP track record, experience and international knowledge. Huntsman can also get the independent and youth vote that we need to beat Obama. Lets win this time.
Bully for Huntsman!! He is finally gaining traction when people see that he is the best candidate.