Scott Rasmussen
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Now, however, 39 percent of GOP primary voters nationally see Gingrich as the strongest candidate, while just 37 percent still say it of Romney. The former Massachusetts governor may look like the better candidate on paper, but many Republicans have watched Gingrich's debate performances and concluded that he will be more effective on the campaign trail. Whether or not that's an accurate perception, Gingrich's surge in the polls will last as long as a sizable number of Republicans believes it to be true.

The roller-coaster nature of the Republican race stems from the fact that none of the candidates has closed the sale when it comes to convincing voters they can win in November. Perhaps tired of waiting, 33 percent of GOP voters now feel it would be good for a new candidate to jump into the presidential race.

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Scott Rasmussen

Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of Rasmussen Reports. He is a political analyst, author, speaker and, since 1994, an independent public opinion pollster.

Scott founded Rasmussen Reports, LLC in 2003 as a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information. Rasmussen Reports provides in-depth data, news coverage and commentary on political, business, economic and lifestyle topics at RasmussenReports.com, America’s most visited public opinion polling site.