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Gingrich Romney
Newt Gingrich has held onto his lead over Mitt Romney (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
 
Gallup. Dec 4-8. Republicans. ±2.8%. (11/13-17 results, plus 2007 trends.)
Gallup
The news here is that there isn't any new news: Gingrich is still holding a big national lead, thanks to combination of his own surge and the withdrawal of Herman Cain from the race.

I thought it would be interesting to show snapshots of the 2008 Republican primary from roughly the same periods of time. Obviously, one lesson of the 2008 primary is that polls can change, and quickly, but if you haven't realized that by now in the 2012 GOP nomination, you're not paying attention.

One of the biggest differences between now and 2008 is that there are only two candidates now in double-digits. Combined, they have 60 percent of the GOP vote. In 2008, there were five candidates in double digits. The key point: Candidates in third place and below had less room to make up in 2008 than they do today. Twenty-eight points separate Newt Gingrich from Ron Paul, the third place candidate—that's more than Rudy Giuliani had in total in 2008. Moreover, Giuliani averaged in the mid-30s throughout 2007; his 27 percent support represented a decline from his previous high. Gingrich, meanwhile, is on the upswing.

Especially in a year like this, you can never say never, but given the massive shift that would need to happen for one of the lesser candidates to get back in this race, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which either Gingrich or Romney isn't the nominee. Unless something spectacular happens in the next two debates (on Saturday and on Thursday), Mitt and Newt will almost certainly be the last two standing. I know that makes a lot of Republicans upset, but sorry guys, you gotta dance with the clowns you brought to the party.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 01:20 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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