Poll: Romney & Gingrich tied for top spot
November 21st, 2011
10:02 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Romney & Gingrich tied for top spot

Washington (CNN) - A new national poll suggests a two-way battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for the top spot in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, with Herman Cain close behind.

According to a USA Today/Gallup survey released Monday morning, 20% of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they are backing Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the White House, for their party's nomination. Nineteen percent support Gingrich, the former House Speaker who's been rising in the polls over the past month after his campaign hit rock bottom in the early summer. Romney's one-point margin over Gingrich is well within the poll's sampling error.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

The survey indicates that 16% say that they are likely to support Cain for the nomination. The businessman, former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host has seen his numbers slightly slip over the past three weeks due to a controversy over sexual harassment allegations. Rep. Ron Paul, who's making his third run for the presidency, is at 10%, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at 8% and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is at 5% in the poll. Former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania are each at 1% with nearly one in five saying they are not sure who they'll support.

The poll indicates that among self-described conservative Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP, Gingrich is on top at 23%, followed by Romney at 20% and Cain at 18%. Among self-described moderates or liberals, Romney is on top at 20%, followed by Cain and Gingrich each at 12%.

The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted Nov. 13-17, with 1,062 adult Americans, including 946 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for questions of the GOP horserace is plus or minus four percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    I cannot anyone who thinks Washington DC is broken, dysfunctional, and in need of an overhaul could even remotely give Newt Gingrich their vote. Mr. Gingrich epitomizes everything that is wrong with our national politics.

    Did you find Mr. Gingrich's disparaging comments about the OWS protestors distasteful? I did. Mr. Gingrich's remarks were the stereotypical remarks that one would expect from a member of the 1%. I wonder if Mr. Gingrich is a member of the "4000 Club" (the 4000 multi-millionaires who paid zero taxes) or if he received contributions or compensation from them. I would be more surprised if he didn't.

    November 21, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. AZ Dem

    An interesting statistic I ran across...every GOP presidential primary candidate in the last 30 years who has come in 2nd in one cycle and immediately follwed up with winning the nomination next time has gone on to lose the General Election every single time. Go back and look for yourselves Reagan and Nixon all sat out a primary before they got the nomination to win the presidency...Romney is looking to buck this trend...

    November 21, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. realitybites

    Sweep their morals under the door
    Memory doesn't serve anymore
    Bye, Bye Standards.

    Sugar is sweet so's hypocracy
    Morals only serve when they suit me
    Bye, Bye Conservative Standards

    November 21, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. molly

    Someone has dug up so much on Herman Cain and Newt Why hasn't anyone looked
    into Romney's past. I would bet they would find a lot.

    November 21, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Goodness. Willard's numbers are going DOWN, not UP. Not good, Mitt. Not good at all. Better pull out some of those Romney is beating Obama, Gingrich is not beating Obama polls, CNN, to keep the folks from thinking a Newt Gingrich ticket is just the thing for them. I know you all tried that with Hillary, and then again with McCain, and while it didn't work back then either, the media has been consistent in one thing - trying to sway votes. It's been a top of the line promotion gimmick for corporate pollsters for years now.

    November 21, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Keith in Austin

    Either Candidate will be a massive improvement over Barak (Where's Waldo) Obama!

    November 21, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. WhereIsPalin

    I'd rather think of it as everyone else dropping, and Gingrich inadvertently "rising" to the top. Give him time. Before you know it. he'll suggest that school kids replace janitors. What?..........never mind.

    November 21, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It seems (if the polling is correct) that it has been a yoyo for everyone to be compared with Romney. I wonder how long it will take for Romney either to win it or for him to come crashing down. If Romney doesn't make it, who ever gets the nomination won't be able to really get close to Obama.

    November 21, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. stevie

    It`s irrelevant who gets the nomination. Obama is finished. Either guy will trounce him. Why would America reelect nothing? Obama represents nothing.

    November 21, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. MTATL67

    I could not believe Newt Gingrich's comment about OWS "Get a job and take a bath". This is how a person who wants to be President of those same people refers to them. Who is this multiple adulterer to judge anybody. He should of been having an affair with Jenny Craig. It is very clear that the only thing Newt has fought for is for his place in the all you can eat buffet. He sure made a nice profit from Freddy Mac and their practices that contributed to those that lost or cannot find jobs. As I said who the heck is he to judge anybody.

    November 21, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Max

    No MORAL Authority

    Newt Gingrich personal history, particularly when it comes to his treatment of marriage, dictates that he has no moral authority to lead. If he's elected as the republican nominee, it would say a lot about the so-called 'conservative' party of values. How can the republican elected as their leader someone who time and time again has show scant respect for the sanctity of marriage and family????? That would be really appalling!

    Gingrich has no MORAL authority to lead.

    November 21, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "Go back and look for yourselves Reagan and Nixon all sat out a primary before they got the nomination to win the presidency"
    -----
    Reagan was in the primaries in 1976 against Ford. He did not get the nomination. He ran again in 1980, won the nomination, and beat an incumbent president. Where in the world do you find your facts?????

    November 21, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. moderatejoe

    Newt is spot on. but Mittless is just grabbing on to coat tails. Romney was an AWOL Governor of Mass for almost two years and h has the audacity to criticize our AWOL president?

    November 21, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Max

    No MORAL Authority

    Newt Gingrich personal history, particularly when it comes to his treatment of marriage, dictates that he has no moral authority to lead. If he's elected as the republican nominee, it would say a lot about the so-called 'conservative' party of values. How can the republican elected as their leader someone who time and time again has show scant respect for the sanctity of marriage and family????? That would be really appalling!

    November 21, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Didn't Ann Coulter say, "If we nominate Mitt Romney, then Obama we lose." Or something to that effect?

    Conservatives have bamboozled themselves into believing that they need an anti-Romney (which they in fact do) because he's not conservative enough for "most Americans". They are still self-deluded into thinking that the majority of Americans are center-right in their views AND their voting habits. They're not.

    Americans want conservative poliicies for everyone else, but liberal policies for themselves. The attitude is similar to the classic case of a "do as I say, but not as I do" sort of thing. We want to have our cake and eat it, too.

    November 21, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |