The Des Moines Register is out with their latest much-anticipated poll of the presidential field in Iowa and Newt Gingrich’s momentum is the big story. He leads the field with 23%, trailed by Ron Paul at 18% and Mitt Romney at 16%.
The others: Michele Bachmann at 8%, the departed Herman Cain at 8%, Rick Santorum at 6%, and Rick Perry at 6%. 11% were undecided.
Gingrich has been shooting up in state and national polls across the board and with Cain dropping out he could potentially expand his lead by picking up some of his supporters, few of whom have identified themselves as sympathetic to Romney in polls.
Paul’s strong positions hows he has a legitimate chance to win the caucuses in a closely split race — Republican officials in Iowa say he has a strong ground game thanks to his famously loyal core of supporters.
For Romney, who has recently recommitted to winning Iowa after dancing around whether to go all-in on the state for months, the poll represents the hurdles the GOP’s large anti-Romney bloc continues to put in his way even after many of his rivals have collapsed. He did pick up some good news earlier in the evening, however, in an endorsement from the Sioux City Journal.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.