Newt Gingrich now leads the Republican presidential field, overtaking Mitt Romney for the first time in a CNN-ORC poll released on Monday.
Gingrich landed 24 percent of the support, followed by Romney with 20 percent, Herman Cain with 17 percent, Rick Perry with 11 percent, Ron Paul with 9 percent, Michele BachmannMichele BachmannEx-rep admires furs amid PETA inaugural gala Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog Will Trump back women’s museum? MORE with 5 percent, Rick Santorum with 4 percent, and Jon Huntsman with 3 percent.
Gingrich’s time as Speaker of the House in the 1990s has been an asset for the candidate so far.
Voters surveyed said Gingrich was the most qualified to be president by a wide margin – 36 percent to 20 percent over Romney. Gingrich is also seen by those surveyed as the candidate most likely to understand the issues, leading Romney 43 percent to 18 percent.
Still, Romney continues to be seen as the candidate with the best chance of unseating President Obama. Forty percent say Romney is the most electable candidate, followed by Gingrich at only 21 percent.
Voters also see Romney as the best candidate when it comes to turning around the economy. Twenty-five percent said Romney was most likely to get the economy moving again, followed by Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, at 20 percent, Gingrich at 19 percent and Perry at 12 percent.
Support for the GOP field remains fluid. Sixty-seven percent said they might change their mind, up from 61 percent in the prior poll. Only 27 percent said they were entirely committed to their candidate.
The poll interviewed more than 1,000 American voters between Nov. 18-20.