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2012: Gingrich leads the pack

In a new CNN poll, Gingrich is at 24%, followed by Romney 20%, Cain 17%, Perry 11%, Paul 9%.

Romney continues to lead the field in New Hampshire – up 41%-14% over Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in a new Suffolk poll. (Gingrich ties Romney 34%-34% when Republicans were asked who would be better to debate President Obama.)

According to a new Quinnipiac University national poll released today, “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich more than doubles his share of the Republican presidential vote to lead the presidential pack with 26 percent and in a head-to-head matchup tops former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 49 – 39 percent.”

Roll Call writes: “The failure of the deficit super committee could open a new front in the 2012 presidential contest, with the Republican nominee likely to campaign on reversing steep defense cuts scheduled to occur in 2013 as a result of a penalty trigger.”

BACHMANN: “In her new book “Core of Conviction,” presidential candidate Michele Bachmann weaves political ideology with her biography, expanding and illuminating many moments she’s talked about on the trail — and some that she hasn’t. Focused heavily on government and religion, she uses the word “faith” 43 times and “Obamacare” 51. She mentions President Obama by name 49 times while writing about former President Reagan 37,” Politico reports.

GINGRICH: “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich touched down in New Hampshire on Monday to assume the title of surging presidential candidate — and to try to impart to it a staying power that has eluded those who have risen and stumbled before,” according to the Washington Post. “The fifth Republican contender to climb to the top of public polls this year, Gingrich took advantage of the moment to again announce his plans to reform Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and various programs for the poor. Campaign money is coming in, he said, and a staff that shrank to a dozen after an implosion in June has grown to 40. Gingrich is even allowing himself to look ahead to a general-election contest against President Obama, because, he said, “one of the reasons people support me is because they can see me debating Obama.”

PERRY: On FOX, he apologized for calling people “heartless” if they don’t believe immigrants should receive in-state tution, per NBC’s Morgan Parmet. NBC’s Carrie Dann notes, Perry seemed to struggle when asked to name two countries to which he'd zero out foreign aid. After China, he was pressed for another and said "well I don't know If Venezuela's getting any money or not" but that would be it. Asked if he would zero out aid to Pakistan, he said "I don't know, I can't say I know the answer to that question." He dodged a question about how he needs to do in Iowa. Asked "first or second in Iowa?" he responded "either way!" Beginning of the interview comprised of his reaction to the supercommittee's failure, which he again blamed squarely on Obama. "He was looking for somebody to blame" he said of Obama. "He didn't want to be in a leadership position. I think this was a contrived opportunity for him to pitch this over to Congress.”

ROMNEY: “Mitt Romney is the GOP frontrunner, but you’d never know it by the way his rivals steer clear of attacking him on stage,” Politico reports. “In interviews, campaign emails and out on the trail, the Republican candidates aren’t shy about attacking the former Massachusetts governor. They hit him for flip-flopping, for the state health care reforms he signed, his business record and everything else they can find. At the 10 debates he’s done since kicking off his candidacy, though, they’ve taken a different approach: they rarely even mention him by name, let alone touch him.”