Polls: 3 months before primaries, Romney on top in 2 key states
October 11th, 2011
09:40 AM ET
2 years ago

Polls: 3 months before primaries, Romney on top in 2 key states

(CNN) - Hours before the Republican presidential candidates face off in their first debate in 19 days, new polls indicate that Mitt Romney's on top of the field in the race for the GOP nomination in the first two states to vote in the primary and caucus calendar.

According to NBC-Marist College surveys, the former Massachusetts governor holds a commanding lead in neighboring New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary, and holds a slim three point margin in Iowa, which votes first in the race for the White House.

The poll indicates that 44% of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire support Romney, who's making his second bid for the presidency, for their party's nominee. Romney has been the front-runner in just about every GOP primary poll in the Granite State over the past year.

Thirteen percent say they back former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain. It's the third straight New Hampshire survey over the past four days to indicate Cain is on the rise. Tied at 13% with Cain is Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who's making his third bid for the White House.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the former front-runner in national polls who's numbers have been declining the past two weeks, is at 6%, with former Utah Gov. and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 5%. Huntsman appears to be betting all his chips on a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary.

The poll indicates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 4%, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at 2% and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania as well as former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson each at 1%.

The major GOP candidates face off Tuesday night at a Bloomberg-Washington Post-WBIN-TV debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

In Iowa, the poll indicates Romney is at 23%, Cain at 20%, Paul at 11%, and Perry and Bachmann each at 10%. Bachmann, who's campaign experienced a temporary boost after winning a crucial straw poll in Iowa in mid-August, has been campaigning extensively through the Hawkeye state.

Gingrich is at 4%, Santorum 3% and Huntsman at 1% in Iowa. Romney's three point margin over Cain is within the poll's sampling error. The poll is the second straight survey in Iowa to indicate Romney at the top of the field.

The NBC-Marist Iowa poll was conducted Oct. 3-5, with 371 likely GOP caucus-goers questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

The NBC-Marist New Hampshire poll was conducted Oct. 3-5, with 691 likely GOP primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Also see:

Debate the first showdown since dramatic changes in GOP field

Romney camp labels Perry a 'desperate candidate'

New website, old attacks on Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. notbobslc

    Typical unbalanced reporting, Blackout this! Ron Paul is leading nationwide yet you will only cherry pick the news that suits your corporatist agenda! Romney and perry – both plastic men, politicians who will lie and tell the voters anything to get alected.

    October 11, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. diridi

    nation needed this Health Care Law. It is now passed. State Exchanges will set up in 2014. Just like Senator or Congressman, you can go there and buy if you are overcharged by BCBS. If this guy says some thing nonsense, he will go to doom, and gloom. He is not all that bad among those other idiots....I think, he will be the front runner. Not that Texas idiot, without brain....Obama2012.

    October 11, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Four and The Door

    The Republicans in New Hampshire and Iowa have got it right. They are showing support to the top two candidates who can not only defeat Obama, but but such a significant margin that the Senate majority will be won by Republicans as well. This is what we need. In order to quickly fix the perilous direction America is headed on now ( and Occupy Wall Street protesters will not argue the need for that!), the Republican president will need the House and Senate for their full support. It is coming together and soon we will be there.

    October 11, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Physics-lite

    Oh’ Come on even the presidential candidates have the Freedom of Religion ?????

    October 11, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    Either Mittens cleans up in NH or he's in big trouble. Not only is it neighboring MA, but it's voters are not true lemmings as seen in Iowa or SC. His only chance is to get some appeal to those lemmings in the coming weeks. As long as the pastors and others keep up with the "cult" garbage, and the other candidates do the RomneyCare dance, he is not going to get the nod...therefore ensuring Obama another 4 years. Not one of the others is electable in the general election.

    October 11, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Have they given up looking for an "anti-Romney", yet? I cannot blame conservatives for not trusting Gov. Romney. He really has been all over the map on almost every issue. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems the only consistent factor on his positions over the years has been to do what most benefits his own personal gain and profit for those he associates with.

    October 11, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think it should boil to to a 'no holds barred, fight to the death contest.' The preliminary matches would be Rick 'the executioner' Perry vs. Herb 'the crazy Chilean' Cain. In the other match, Mittens ' the elastic plastic man' Romney vs. Michele 'the submitter' Bachmann. The eventual winner will get more than a half billion dollars from the Kochs and from Rove to wage war on 99% of the population.

    October 11, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. NVa Native

    Eight years of putting out different ideas and switching to different positions for the past eight years – while he's been running for POTUS – has really given Romney time to create the politician he thinks will sell to a majority of Americans. But Americans won't vote for another GOP puppet who will continue with the Bush/Cheney policies developed to econmically enslave the middle & working class of America.
    No matter how much BS fox & GOP spews out – we know who owns the GOP.

    October 11, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"...the Republican president will need the House and Senate for their full support. It is coming together and soon we will be there."◄

    OMG – that would NEVER happen because there will never be a Republican president in 2012!!! And if it is, the Republicans will "overreach" and destroy themselves and get "recalled" – look @ Wisconsin. As a matter of fact, Wisconsin is actually "ground zero" that set the stage for the "Occupiers of Any City, USA". Republicans "cannot" be trusted!!!

    Obama/Biden and straight down the Democrat ticket in 2012!

    October 11, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. thomas

    Romney / Cain

    How to out source Pizza overseas.

    Welcome to the land of nod !

    The Bush sequel !

    October 11, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. diridi

    God bless you, T'sah, tell to vote Direct Dem. Ticket. Tell them to tell three, and these again tell three each...so on and so forth. My way of philosophy is working....god bless...Obama2012.
    Tell them GOP is for Rich, and Corporate idiots that shipped our jobs, ruined this nation with cheap foreign labor, be they doctors, or computer guys....thanks...

    October 11, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    T'sah from Virginia

    I'm with you: Obama/Biden and straight down the Democrat ticket in 2012!

    October 11, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Joe

    Only one man has ever run for the presidency, lost, run again, and won. Richard Nixon. Bad karma.

    October 11, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. dave

    another reason not to watch the news everyday.
    one day it's Romney Romney!
    the next day: Bachmann!
    then: Perry!!!
    then: Ron Paul!!
    then: Huntsman! (for 2020)
    now it's back to Romney!

    too bad the long shots don't get a turn.

    October 11, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Bill

    Just think, If Mitt had been president, we would no longer have an auto industry. No thanks, folks.

    October 11, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. citizenUSA

    Hoo-ray! Even though it's kinda like picking the lesser of 6 evils. As long as Cain or Perry don't get elected.

    October 11, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Kweg Yung

    Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 11, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |