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Divide and Conquer (Continued)

GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney speaks to supporters at a rally at Kinzler Construction in Ames, Iowa on Thursday Dec. 29, 2011 with his campaign bus is in the background.  (Ralf-Finn Hestoft)

December 30, 2011

A second poll underscores the opportunity that division on the right is creating for Mitt Romney in Iowa. In the NBC/Marist University Iowa survey released Friday, Romney continues to draw only modest support overall - but remains positioned to capture the state because the groups most skeptical of him are fragmenting.

Overall, the poll showed Romney leading with 23 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 21 percent, and then Rick Santorum (15 percent), Rick Perry (14 percent) and Newt Gingrich (13) all bunched closely together. That largely tracks the findings of the CNN/Time/ORC Iowa survey released earlier this week.

In the NBC/Marist poll, like the CNN/Time survey, Romney continues to draw meager support among the party's most ardent elements. The new survey shows him capture just 13 percent among both evangelical Christians and voters who describe themselves as strong tea party supporters.

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