Public Policy Polling is out with their latest numbers and they bode well for the perennial dark horse from Texas.

First, let’s look at the numbers compared between the last poll and this one…

So why has Newt lost traction? A few reasons…

Gingrich has now seen a big drop in his Iowa standing two weeks in a row. His share of the vote has gone from 27% to 22% to 14%. And there’s been a large drop in his personal favorability numbers as well from +31 (62/31) to +12 (52/40) to now -1 (46/47). Negative ads over the last few weeks have really chipped away at Gingrich’s image as being a strong conservative- now only 36% of voters believe that he has ‘strong principles,’ while 43% think he does not.

Who has been running ads against Gingrich? Ron Paul in particular and it looks like the strategy is working. That and Newt’s personality, which probably doesn’t play too well in Iowa.

But what about Mitt, who continues to just stick around?

Romney’s vote share is up 4 points from a week ago to 20% from it previous 16% standing. His favorability numbers have improved a little bit as well from 48/44 to 49/40. One thing Romney really has going for him is more room for growth than Paul. Among voters who say they’re not firmly committed to their current candidate choice, Romney is the second choice for 19% compared to 17% for Perry, 15% for Bachmann, and only 13% for Paul. It’s particularly worth noting that among Gingrich- who seems more likely to keep falling than turn it around- voters, he’s the second choice of 30% compared to only 11% for Paul.

Can Mitt just wait the entire field out? Looks like. But if Paul wins Iowa and can do well in the traditionally libertarian New Hampshire…this has the potential to be the most interesting GOP primary season since…well, I can’t remember when we’ve ever had an interesting GOP primary season since 1988 when Bob Dole and Pat Robertson gave the elder Bush major heartburn before he finally secured the nomination.

More as it develops…

Home Politics Poll: Ron Paul Leads, Gingrich Falls in Iowa