Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is the most recent of the Republican challengers to go through the boom-bust cycle of support. He’s moved from a share of the lead with Mitt Romney in December to a distant second place of 17 percent support among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents in the new national Washington Post-ABC News poll.

View Photo Gallery: The former House speaker is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

His support has been nearly cut in half since December and the falloff has been broad based, with relatively even declines among all stripes of Republicans -- save one group. Gingrich remains a plausible alternative among strong tea party supporters, winning 27 percent support from this group. That’s currently his strongest base of supporters and they’ve stuck with him since December. He does worst among moderates and liberals, winning 11 percent.

Strong tea partiers might not be a large enough slice of the Republican pie for Gingrich to claw back to the top spot. He’ll need to generate appeal among rank-and-file Republicans and conservatives.

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