Poll: Minnesota is Gingrich territory

Somehow, Newt is more popular than Romney even with MN women.
Somehow, Newt is more popular than Romney even with MN women.

Minnesota is Newt Gingrich territory.

That's the conclusion emerging from a new Public Policy Polling poll of likely Republican voters in the state.

The poll, conducted last weekend, just over two weeks ahead of the February 7 Minnesota GOP caucus, found 36 percent of state Republicans support Gingrich, compared to just 18 percent for second-place Mitt Romney.

The poll, however, should be taken with a dose of caution -- 15 percent of Minnesota Republicans are undecided, and a majority of those who do have a current preference said they could change their minds between now and caucus night. All in all, that leaves almost 70 percent of the Republican electorate still up for grabs.

After Gingrich and Romney, Rick Santorum came in third with 17 percent support, and Ron Paul was fourth with 13 percent.

Though the poll indicates there are still tons of undecided Republicans, almost all the metrics spoke well for Gingrich. Despite his sordid marital history, the Speaker's favorability spread is +34 (59/25), compared to +14 for Romney (50/36). PPP reports that Gingrich's favorability spread among state Republicans has increased by 40 percent since May.

Dean Debnam, president of PPP, said in a press release that "Gingrich's lead in Minnesota reflects his national momentum right now, but with around 70% of voters either undecided or open to changing their minds things could change a lot over the next two weeks before the actual caucus."

Shockingly, even for Minnesota GOP women, Gingrich is more popular than Romney (28 to 19 percent). Perhaps the 150-or-so women PPP surveyed are just really focused on policy issues this election season.

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