With just five days remaining until the Iowa caucuses, Republican Mitt Romney is now back on top, according to a brand new poll released today by American Research Group (ARG). The ARG survey of 600 likely GOP caucus voters, conducted December 26-28, measures Romney’s support at 32 percent, giving the former Massachusetts governor not only just his second lead in the last 14 public polls in Iowa, but also his largest percentage of support in the 16 ARG polls dating back one year ago.
Romney holds a 9-point advantage over Mike Huckabee (23 percent), followed by John McCain at 11 percent, Fred Thompson at 7 percent, Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani at 6 percent, and Duncan Hunter and Alan Keyes at 2 percent. Eleven percent of likely GOP caucus attendees remain undecided.
Huckabee—the frontrunner in the Hawkeye State for the past month—has endured increased scrutiny by the other candidates, political pundits, the press, as well as ‘attack’ ads running in Iowa by the Romney campaign for the past few weeks. As a result, Huckabee’s numbers seem to have peaked and are now on the decline.
Huckabee has also not had a good last few days in the media. In one statement on the situation in Pakistan, Huckabee’s comments revealed he did not know martial law had been lifted a few weeks ago in that country; in another statement, the former Arkansas governor linked the Bhutto assassination with the need to keep a particularly watchful eye on Pakistanis entering the United States.