(CNN) – A new national poll released Monday shows Newt Gingrich surging to a statistical tie with rival presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The former House speaker now has the backing of 28% of registered Republicans to Romney's 29% nationwide, according to the latest results from Gallup's daily tracking poll.
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Voters were surveyed Wednesday through Saturday, mostly before and partially after Gingrich's South Carolina primary victory.
The poll was also done during a week with two strong debate performances for the former House speaker, with voters questioned partly before but mostly after the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate on Thursday night - just two days before the primary.
Gingrich's new poll numbers mark a big boost from his standing a week ago, shortly after the New Hampshire primary when 14% of those surveyed said they would back the candidate, while 37% preferred Romney.
The results come as both candidates storm through Florida ahead of the Sunshine State's critical primary on January 31.
Team Romney has already sharpened its offense against Gingrich, as the former Massachusetts governor has been hitting the former speaker as an un-electable, "highly erratic" Washington insider. On Monday, Romney warned voters Gingrich could result in an "October surprise" should he make it to the general election as the party's nominee.
Gingrich, meanwhile, continues to paint Romney as a "Massachusetts moderate" who couldn't go toe-to-toe with Obama and argued Romney's latest attacks are an act of desperation.
"If you've been campaigning for six years and you see it slip away, you get desperate," Gingrich said Monday at a campaign even in Tampa, Florida.
The same Gallup poll shows less drastic changes for the other two candidates in the race. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum had the support of 11%, down from 14% last week. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who plans to largely skip campaigning in Florida, came in with 13% support, up one point from last week.
Gallup surveyed 1,221 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by telephone Jan. 18-22, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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There is a silver lining if the horrific unthinkable happens – Newt wins the nomination and the general election. There is a good chance he would be impeaced before the end of his first term -– the dems would go for it –and most Republicans have already tossed him from a leadership role when he was Speaker and had to resign in disgrace AND PAY A $300,000 FINE.
The people who voted in Gingrich, are they the same ones who voted for screechy voiced Palin.
Can people imaging looking at this adulterers face for the next bunch of years should he get voted in for the highest position in the United States?
They would also have to view his mistress/wife number 3 for the same length of time.
You would think by reading this story and other comments on CNN's page here this was just a three way race. Seems like I remember another candidate in the race for the Republican nomination. Why is CNN and the rest of the main stream news media so afraid to give Congressman Ron Paul any coverage?
Really truth? But what ALL these voters have is a HUNGER to get Obama OUT of the Whitehouse and the Democrats OUT of Congress.
The only hungry ones are the poor and vanishing middle class that your teapublikans continue to ground into the dirt.
Do you watch faux news and listen to limberger every day then come to cnn's website to spread their lies, innuendos and untruths (speaking of nothing but the truth)?
don’t forget, Gingrich was part of the establishment that created the rules that allowed the investment firms and banks to setup a finance meltdown scheme and then bet against it. Costing people homes , jobs and their retirements. It has been reported this started all the way back to Reagan era (his hero?). And now he’s complaining that Romney was more successful in using the rules he helped create. He’s just jealous that he was not able to use the rules as well Romney. He admitted he was part of the group that created the rules. Ron Paul admitted in the debate that the republicans had control of the house, the senate and the president but did nothing or worse, they created the finance mess. Now Gingrich wants to do it all over again? Has any republican stated how reduce regulations will keep it from happening again? Come on republicans, speak up.
Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are the only candidates on ballots in all 50 states. Newt can't get enough delegates and therefore is unelectable.