Two national polls released Monday show former Speaker Newt Gingrich surging from the bottom tier to double digits in the past week, replacing businessman Herman Cain near the top with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
A CNN/ORC International Poll conducted from Nov. 11-13 shows 22 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican saying they now support Gingrich. With a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, that puts Gingrich in a statistical dead heat with Romney, the longtime frontrunner. In a Public Policy Polling survey also released Monday, Gingrich rose to the lead, a full 10 percentage points ahead of Romney.
The data suggest that Gingrich's presence in the top tier comes at the expense of businessman Herman Cain, whose support dropped by 11 percentage points in the CNN poll and five points according to PPP amid accusations of sexual harassment made over the past two weeks.
As support for other candidates has fluctuated, only Romney has consistently remained in the top tier. Over the past five months of PPP surveys, support for Romney has shifted by just 2 percentage points. In the CNN poll, Romney polled as high as 35 percent when the campaign season first got off the ground in June, but he has never fallen below 18 percent.
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