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Obama, Democrats have edge over Republicans

world Updated: Dec 30, 2011 02:35 IST

As the United States enters the crucial election year, president Barack Obama and his Democratic party has a clear edge over the opposition Republican party, a latest opinion poll has said.

"Americans have slightly more confidence in president Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress (41 per cent) than in the Republicans in Congress (34 per cent) when it comes to the looming debate on what the government should do about a more permanent extension of payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits," Gallup said.

In another opinion poll, CNN said that Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and a leading Republican presidential candidate, is slipping in his lead in Iowa, the State which will hold the first primary next week. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/30-12-pg15a.jpg

Whereas, Mitt Romney, who is now widely considered to bag the Republican presidential nomination, is solidifying his lead in another key State of New Hampshire.

"With less than a week to go until Republicans cast the first votes of the 2012 presidential race in Iowa, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas congressman Ron Paul remain atop the field there, even as the fortunes of their closest competitors are quickly changing," CNN said referring to its new opinion poll.

Romney now leads the pack with support from 25 per cent of likely Iowa caucus-goers, while Paul boasts 22 per cent, both posting a five-point gain since early December.

While Romney's lead in Iowa is tenuous, his continued strength across the board raises the possibility that the establishment front-runner could win his party's nomination in a clean sweep.