Newt Gingrich’s momentum in the GOP presidential race may have hit a roadblock.
A new CNN/Time/Opinion Reseach poll in Florida shows Mitt Romney claiming a small lead in Tuesday’s primary, and the latest Gallup tracking poll, which has showed Gingrich surging for more than a week now, finally shows him leveling off.
The CNN poll put Romney at 36 percent, Gingrich at 34 percent, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum at 11 percent and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) at 9 percent.
The poll also shows a stark difference in Gingrich’s numbers between the day after the South Carolina primary — Sunday — and Monday and Tuesday of this week.
While Gingrich led Romney 38 percent to 32 percent among those polled Sunday, Romney led 38 percent to 29 percent among those surveyed on Monday and Tuesday. That suggests the bump Gingrich got from his win in South Carolina was short-lived.
Some polls in recent days had shown Gingrich surging to a lead in Florida.
Also, in the Gallup poll, Gingrich’s four-point lead from yesterday actually declined slightly to a three-point lead.
That’s not a significant shift. But prior to that decline, Gingrich had shot up 17 points in a little more than a week, improving his lot every day results were released. The Gallup tracking poll is based on a five-day rolling average, which suggests Gingrich’s plateau might have begun a couple days ago — around the same time the CNN Florida poll showed him tapering off.
None of this is to say that Gingrich is headed for defeat — polls are simply a snapshot in time — but it does show, for the first time in more than a week, that Gingrich’s surge may be over.