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Republicans Warming to Gingrich

Former House Speaker wins praise for his knowledge, experience.

Influential Republicans in four early-voting states are warming to Newt Gingrich's candidacy, according to the latest Patch-Huffington Post GOP Power Outsiders poll.

The latest survey of Republican voters in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Florida shows that although GOP activists still see Mitt Romney as the most electable candidate and best on the economy, Gingrich wins praise for his knowledge, experience and positions on other contentious issues.

The former House Speaker recently , and will return to the state tomorrow to take part in the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC's candidate forum in Hampton.

On the economy, more than a third of those polled (38 percent) said Romney would do the best job, followed by Gingrich (19 percent). Hermain Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman were in a near tie for third. Romney also leads Gingrich on taxes by a 23 to 18 percent margin.

But on foreign policy, Obama's health care law, and illegal immigrant, Gingrich comes out on top. Gingrich also tops Romney by a 39 to 29 percent margin on "having the knowledge and experience to be a good president."

Still, half of those polled see Romney as most able to defeat President Obama, followed by Cain at 14 percent, Perry at 9 percent and 8 percent for Gingrich and Huntsman.

Each week, our local Patch editors will be asking influential New Hampshire Republicans questions about the presidential campaign, and we'll report the results here.

We’re still looking to expand our list of influential members of both parties in New Hampshire. If you’d like to participate, email marc.fortier@patch.com and we’ll connect you with the appropriate Patch editor.

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