Ron Paul increases his lead in Iowa

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul speaks during a town hall meeting in Mt Pleasant, Iowa, on December 21, 2011 (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)
Congressman Ron Paul continues to gain support in Iowa, this time with a new poll from a state university placing the GOP hopeful clear ahead of the competition.

According to a survey released on Tuesday by Iowa State University in conjunction with Gazette and KCRG, Paul has taken first place with 27.5 percent of the vote from likely caucus-goers. Last month Paul only polled with 20.4 percent support, but the falling out of pizzaman Herman Cain from the race as well as a strong campaign from the congressman’s camp are making a victory in Iowa seem increasingly more likely for the candidate.

As RT reported earlier in the week, this victory is only the latest in a string of successes for the Republican Party hopeful. Congressman Paul captured nearly a quarter of the vote in a new survey from Public Policy Polling and has seen a surge in popularity all along the campaign trail as of late.

This success, however, does not come without its opposition. The mainstream media continues to label Paul a fringe candidate, despite his stances which are finding a broader audience among Republican voters as the election season continues.

As this support surges, Paul is also becoming a threat to not just the GOP establishment but for also Democratic candidate, President Barack Obama. With a Washington Post/ABC News poll placing the current commander-in-chief neck-and-neck with former-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a third-party run for Congressman Paul could detract from either of the candidates’ audience and cause a serious upset come 2012.

“The reality is Ron Paul is poised to become a major figure in the Republican Party if his momentum continues and he’s able to win in Iowa,” GOP strategist Steve Schmidt tells Washington Post. “The open question is: How much durability does he have over the balance of the race?”

Ron Paul was among the first candidates to pull out of a proposed GOP debate hosted by reality-television star Donald Trump scheduled for later this month, a move which prompted almost every other Republican hopeful to revoke their participation.

In the latest poll out of ISW, Paul leads the race with former-House Speaker Newt Gingrich trailing behind him at 25.3 percent, followed by Romney at 17.5 percent. The study comes from data collected between December 8 and 18 from a pool of 740 registered Republicans and 200 registered independents.