(CNN) – One day before Alabama holds a Republican primary, a new poll in the state indicates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich narrowly edging out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the top spot in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
According to a survey by American Research Group released Monday, 34% of likely Republican primary voters in Alabama say they are backing Gingrich, with 31% saying they are supporting Romney. Gingrich's three-point margin is within the poll's sampling error, meaning the race is basically all tied up. Twenty-four percent say they back former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, with 6% supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and 7% undecided.
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The survey indicates that Gingrich has a 39%-30% margin over Romney among self-identified Republicans, with Santorum at 23% and Paul at 3%. Among self-identified independents and Democrats, Romney's on top at 33%, followed by Santorum at 28%, Gingrich at 17% and Paul at 15%.
Alabama, as well as neighboring Mississippi, hold open primaries on Tuesday, meaning that Republicans, independent voters and even Democrats can cast ballots in the GOP presidential nomination contests. Forty-seven delegates are at stake in Alabama, with 37 delegates up for grabs in Mississippi. An ARG poll in Mississippi that was released on Monday indicated Romney at 34%, Gingrich at 32%, Santourm at 22% and Paul at 8%.
The Alabama poll indicates that 54% of people who say they are supporters of the tea party movement say they back Gingrich, with Santorum at 23%, Romney at 20% and Paul at 1%. Among those who say they are not tea party supporters, Romney is at 41%, with Santorum at 25%, Gingrich at 16% and Paul at 10%.
Thirty-one percent of men say they back Gingrich, with Romney and Santorum each at 29% and Paul with 6%. Gingrich has a 38%-32% margin over Romney among women, with Santorum at 19% and Paul at 5%.
The American Research Group poll was conducted March 9-11, with 600 likely Republican primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.