In my opinion, this is thanks to Gingrich and Perry, who found the sole way to make Romney a sympathetic figure, attack his work at Bain.

(Ballot Box) — Following victories in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney pulled away from the rest of GOP presidential field in a CNN-ORC national poll released on Friday.

Romney took 34 percent in the survey, nearly doubling-up the next closest candidate, Newt Gingrich, at 18 percent. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are tied for third place at 15 percent, followed by Rick Perry at 9 percent and Jon Huntsman at 4 percent.

Romney and Gingrich were tied for the lead at 28 percent in the same poll taken in mid-December. That’s a 10-point drop for Gingrich in the last month, while Romney has gained 6 percent in the same time frame.

Romney’s lead widens in hypothetical two-person races for the GOP nomination. He leads Gingrich 59 percent to 37 percent, Santorum 60 percent to 37 percent and Paul 67 percent to 31 percent.

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