The lead for the GOP presidential nomination has changed seven times says a new Gallup poll report which calls the Republican race the "most volatile for the GOP since the advent of polling."

The Gallup report says this is the first time since 1964 where the GOP front-runner spot has seen so many changes. Gallup counts four front-runners and seven lead changes since polling began in May with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry all holding front-runner status at different stages in the contest.


Gallup adds that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin both tied current front-runner Mitt Romney for the lead at early stages of the race. Both Huckabee and Palin however eventually declined to run for the nomination.

Looking for historical parallels, Gallup says the current GOP race most resembles the Democratic race for the 2004 nomination when Joe Lieberman, John KerryJohn KerryClimate policies propel a growing dysfunction of Western democracies Kerry calls out countries that need to 'step up' on climate change Those on the front lines of climate change should be empowered to be central to its solution MORE, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark and Dick Gephardt and Tom Daschle all took turns as the front-runner.

In that race, the holder of the Democratic top spot changed nine times throughout Gallup's 2003 polling.

The last GOP race to show this level of fluidity was the 1964 nomination contest which Gallup's polling throughout 1963 featuring Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater as the front-runners. During the 1964 primary season however Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton and Richard Nixon all tied for or briefly held the lead before Goldwater secured the nomination.

"It remains to be seen whether the entire 2012 Republican nomination, from the preliminary phase through the primaries, winds up significantly different from 1964 in terms of volatility," said the report. "Should Romney maintain his current edge from now through the end of the primaries in June, the total number of shifts in front-runners between the two elections will be about the same."