The inaugural Gallup Daily tracking poll of the race for the Republican presidential nomination shows former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with a significant lead over his closest rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, four weeks before the first ballots are cast in Iowa.
Gingrich leads Romney, 37 percent to 22 percent, among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who are registered to vote. They are the only two candidates to register double-digit support. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is at 8 percent; Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at 7 percent; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has 6 percent; Pennsylvania's former Sen. Rick Santorum, 3 percent; and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was last, at 1 percent.
Of those surveyed, 3 percent said they preferred another candidate, and 14 percent did not have an opinion.
Gingrich has continued to surge in Gallup's national polling. In the previous poll, conducted in mid-November, he was at 22 percent, up 9 points from an early November survey.
Gallup will release new numbers on a daily basis based on a five-day rolling sample. The debut poll is based on interviews conducted Dec. 1-5, meaning tomorrow's release will be the results of interviews conducted Dec. 2-6, and so on.
The initial poll surveyed 1,277 Republican and Republican-leaning independent registered voters. Its margin of error is plus or minus 2.7 percent.
Businessman Herman Cain, who withdrew from the race on Saturday, was included during the first three days of interviews. His supporters' second choices were substituted for the purposes of this report. Cain was not offered as an option for the final two days of interviews.