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Mitt Romney leads in Iowa poll, Sarah Palin a close second, Ron Paul dips to seventh

June 1, 2011 | 12:20 pm

Romney

Mitt Romney, no longer in the shadow of Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump after they announced last month that they would not seek the Republican nomination for president, is leading in a Public Policy Poll of probable voters in Iowa.

The former Massachusetts governor, who is expected to throw his hat into the ring Thursday, received 21% of the nods from likely Iowans polled who typically view themselves as right-leaning.

Sarah Palin and Herman Cain were tied for second with 15%. Newt Gingrich is next with 12%, Michele Bachmann got 11%, Tim Pawlenty received 10% and Ron Paul had 8% in results released Wednesday.

"Cain and Palin have been the biggest beneficiaries in Iowa of Huckabee and Trump's decisions not to run. Cain is at 15% now despite not even having been included on our last poll," the polling firm wrote on its blog Wednesday. "Palin's gained 7 points in the six weeks since our last poll compared to 5 point gains for Romney, Pawlenty, and Bachmann, a 3 point gain for Gingrich, and a 2 point bump for Paul."

In May, Public Policy Poll released a survey that showed that, even in the wake of President Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate, half of Republicans still didn't believe that he was born in Hawaii.

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-- Tony Pierce
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Photo: Mitt Romney holds 1-month-old Molly Vyskocil at a stop in Irmo, S.C., last month as father Mark Vyskocil and his son Mason look on. Romney topped a new poll of Iowa voters. Credit: Mary Ann Chastain / Associated Press

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