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Time/CNN Polls: Newt Gingrich Leads In Three Of Four Early Primary States

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New polls released Wednesday by Time magazine and CNN confirm that Newt Gingrich has shot into the lead in three of the four states with January primaries or caucuses and has crept to within 10 percentage points of Mitt Romney in the Romney stronghold of New Hampshire.

In the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, Time and CNN find Gingrich with a 33 to 20 percent lead over Romney, confirming the findings of numerous other polls that Gingrich has taken a solid lead in that state. Before the release of the new survey, the HuffPost Pollster trend estimate, which is based on the results of all available public polls in the state, showed Gingrich ahead by more than 10 percentage points -- 27.5 to 16.9 percent.

Gingrich holds even bigger leads in South Carolina and Florida, according to the Time/CNN release. In South Carolina, the survey shows Gingrich ahead of Romney 45 to 20 percent. The HuffPost Pollster trend estimate has previously shown Gingrich zooming into the lead in that state.

Meanwhile, Gingrich's 48 to 25 percent lead over Romney in the Time/CNN findings for Florida marks the second recent poll showing Gingrich with nearly 50 percent support among likely primary voters in that state. A poll conducted by PPP in late November found him leading Romney by a 47 to 17 percent margin.

Even in New Hampshire, considered relatively safe territory for Romney, Gingrich has cut significantly into his lead and now stands within 10 percentage points of the former Massachusetts governor. Although a few other recent polls have also shown Gingrich gaining on Romney in the Granite State, surveys there have been relatively sparse and the HuffPost Pollster trend estimate has continued to show Romney with a big lead.

Each of the new state polls was conducted between Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 among likely participants in the respective primary or caucuses, and each has a margin of error between 4.5 and 5 percentage points.

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