WASHINGTON - Despite his strong showing in early voting contests in the race for the US Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney's support among Republicans nationwide has dipped slightly during the past month, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Romney was backed by 29 percent of Republican voters in the telephone poll conducted Feb. 2-6, down from 30 percent in a survey in early January. The former Massachusetts governor's three rivals in the race to oppose US Democratic President Barack Obama in November were in a close race for second, the poll showed.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul's support grew by 5 percentage points to 21 percent, moving him into second place and ahead of former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich, whose support slipped to 19 percent from 20 percent.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum also rose by 5 points to reach 18 percent, just behind Gingrich, according to the poll.