What's a political writer to do on a slow news day when official Washington is closed for business? Blog about new polls, that's what! Fox News has a new survey out, which examines both the Republican presidential primary and broader political questions. The top line take-away is that Mitt Romney has drastically expanded his lead among the national GOP electorate:
While far more Republican primary voters view Rick Santorum as the true conservative, Mitt Romney has become the clear leader in the race for the GOP nomination, according to a just-released Fox News poll. After Iowa and New Hampshire wins, Romney now garners the highest level of support from GOP primary voters nationally achieved by any candidate so far. And support for Santorum has nearly quadrupled in the last month, putting him firmly in the second tier with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. Romney has the backing of 40 percent of Republican primary voters. He’s followed by Santorum at 15 percent, Gingrich at 14 percent and Paul at 13 percent. Rick Perry captures 6 percent and Jon Huntsman 5 percent. Romney’s support is up 17 percentage points since last month’s Fox poll. Gingrich -- who led last month -- has dropped by 22 points.