Pro-Gingrich PAC poll shows Romney lead in close Nevada race

Mitt Romney remains the favorite GOP presidential candidate among registered Nevada Republican voters, according to a poll by a super PAC backing Newt Gingrich, a source said Wednesday.

The survey showed Romney with 33 percent support compared with 31 percent for Gingrich. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas came in at 8 percent support, followed by former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., at 7 percent.

The poll of registered GOP voters is an indication of popularity in the state, but doesn’t necessarily reflect who will show up at Nevada’s Feb. 4 GOP caucuses to support the candidates.

The survey suggests the GOP race remains volatile with about 21 percent saying they’re undecided or prefer "someone else."

The automated telephone poll of nearly 14.000 registered Republicans was taken Sunday through Tuesday. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The poll was commissioned by the Winning Our Future Political Action Committe supporting Gingrich’s campaign. The super PAC is partly funded by Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who have donated $10 million to the organization.

Gingrich remains the underdog in Nevada, although he has gained momentum by winning the South Carolina primary last Saturday. He’s also competing head to head with Romney in Florida ahead of the state’s Jan. 31 primary.

In Nevada, both Romney and Paul have been working for years to organize their supporters to turn out for the GOP caucuses. And Romney remains the favorite in the state, where he finished first in the caucus four years ago. Paul has a loyal following in Nevada and also expects a strong showing where he finished No. 2 in 2008.

The Gingrich campaign, meanwhile, is just starting to organize in Nevada in a late push to take advantage of the former House speaker’s momentum.

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