Gingrich Support Eroding?

Newt Gingrich was polling above 32 percent in Iowa only a week ago. New numbers out today show him at 22 percent. A 10 point drop in roughly 7 days.

WASHINGTON — Former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s commanding lead among Republican presidential hopefuls in Iowa has eroded dramatically in the past week, a poll in the key state out Tuesday shows.

Gingrich tops the survey with 22 percent support, just slightly ahead of Congressman Ron Paul who has 21 percent, according to the Public Policy Polling survey of likely Republican voters ahead of the January 3 caucuses, which kick off the 2012 presidential nominating season.

Mitt Romney's best hope is a Ron Paul victory in Iowa, but the Republican Party could face a real problem if Paul wins Iowa, Romney wins New Hampshire, and Gingrich wins South Carolina.

The results of the early Republican primaries in 2008 were a mixed bag as well, but the electorate wasn't quite as polarized and the anyone-but-Romney sentiment was nowhere near as strong.

This primary season could be drawn out all the way to next summer without a definitive front-runner emerging unless Gingrich's national support implodes between now and then. Gingrich is currently polling around 40 percent nationally, and while that makes a total implosion seem unlikely, anything is possible with turrible quality candidates like Newt.