Gingrich ahead in Iowa, poll shows; Romney drops to third
December 3rd, 2011
08:33 PM ET
6 years ago

Gingrich ahead in Iowa, poll shows; Romney drops to third

(CNN) - With a month to go until Iowans select a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has extended his lead in the state, while Texas Rep. Ron Paul has entered second place and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has dropped to third.

A new poll from the Des Moines Register finds 25% of likely Republican voters in Iowa backing Gingrich, while 18% support Paul and 16% say they’d go for Romney.

Other candidates for the nomination – including Herman Cain, who announced Saturday he was suspending his presidential campaign – polled in the single digits.

Gingrich’s rise in Iowa is a marked change from a month ago, when he was polling in fourth place in the Hawkeye State. A CNN/ORC International Poll taken October 20-25 found only 10% of registered Republicans in Iowa backing Gingrich, while Romney held the lead with 24%. Ron Paul was in third place in October, with 12%.

Romney, who won the support of the Sioux City Journal earlier Saturday, has recently amped up his effort in Iowa, sending direct-mail fliers to voters and buying television advertising space.

Gingrich has a smaller operation in the state, only opening his first campaign office there Wednesday.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, said Thursday that Gingrich would need to step up his campaign in the state if he planned on winning the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

"He may be ahead in the polls, but can he deliver?" Branstad asked. "That's the question I have."

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who have campaigned heavily in Iowa, came in at 6% and 8%, respectively. Bachmann won the intensely watched Ames Straw Poll in August, but has seen her support declining since then.

Santorum recently completed an arduous campaign task – visiting all 99 counties in Iowa.

Iowa holds the nation’s first presidential nominating contest on January 3.

The Des Moines Register poll was taken by phone from Nov. 27-30 from 401 likely Republican caucus-goers. The sampling error was 4.9 percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Ron Paul
soundoff (448 Responses)
  1. John Ceballos

    Who is in second??

    December 3, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. Jay

    Who's in second CNN?

    December 3, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. Vet4RonPaul

    All the candidates but Ron Paul are pro-bailout neocon war-mongers. They will do more to destroy America and our youth than even Obama. I'm a military veteran and can see that only Ron Paul is pro-peace, pro-freedom and anti-bailout.

    December 3, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Bushper

    Why bother, come 2012 elections a great majority of Americans will remind the GOP that they sat on their hands while the middle class were going through though economic times. Good job President Obama, America still rewards hard work.

    December 3, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. OWNtheNWO


    How many times are you asshats going to continue to ignore Ron Paul whenver possible, even when he's polling so strongly.

    December 3, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  6. Alec Richardson

    Ron Paul 2012!!

    December 3, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. skarphace

    And Huntsman? Does this mean he is polling below even Santorum and Bachmann? The only good news here, it seems, is that people are finally listening to what Paul is saying rather than what the media says Paul is saying.

    December 3, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  8. Edwin Merit

    Well, being that most of the time "likely Republican voters" only consists of those who voted Repub. in the past 5, 10, or even 20 years and does not include those independents who will be voting or democrats who switch over to vote in the primaries and then switch back if their candidate does not get the nomination, then I think it is fair to say that Dr. Paul is in first in Iowa.

    December 3, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Bushper

    Our great President has taken away national security talking point from the GOP and in time will also take away the economy talking point and the GOP will have nothing to run on. SWEET.

    December 3, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. Sir Luis Miguel Rivera of Nazareth

    Can't wait for Ron Paul, to take over, and win the nomination, and the presidency! I will support him ALL the way through! None of these other guys (and gal) have really won me over. Don't get me wrong, they're all OK candidates, but I honestly don't see them beating Obama in a 2012 election. RON PAUL is the only candidate I will ever support! Period.

    December 3, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  11. Bushper

    The failure of leadership on the part of GOP is the reason for the gridlock in congress. The GOP is the reason Americans prefer communism to US Congress. How worse can it get for the GOP?

    December 3, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  12. Obayashi

    There is a changing trend. Gingrich seems to be solidifying his position as a front runner and Mitt Romney is lagging far behind as the primary election is closing in. With the Holidays coming the republican voters of all the states that involve in this primary will have a piece of mind. Huntsman is in the right position just to let voters know, who is he and run again in 2016.

    December 3, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. myklej

    As polls are starting to suggest it's not only the candidates that flip flop...the voters are as well. Remember folks it is we the people that have elected these clowns into office so lets be fair in taking some of the blame why our beloved nation is heading the direction it is. Oh and this current lot of GOP hopefulls personifies who we dont want to see as the next POTUS!

    December 3, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. TheMendicantBias

    Ron Paul 2nd place! Nice!

    RON PAUL 2012!

    December 3, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. Billy

    Can't even mention Paul's name in the headline, can you?

    December 3, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. Susan Booth

    Not a Republican, but I do like Ron Paul quite a bit. Glad to see him gaining on Newt!

    December 3, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  17. Regular Guy

    He will crucify Obama in the debates!

    December 3, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. Reggie from LA

    Between Alvin Green of South Carolina and New Gingrich, it just goes to show that people will vote for anybody and have NO IDEA why. Apparently, it just seems to be the overly-influenced, mindless thing to do.

    December 3, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Vik

    LOL! CNN, a source of corporate media bias, mentioned Ron Paul in an article of theirs? :O :O :O :O

    December 3, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Will

    The GOP electorate has ONE policy-ABR-ANYBODY BUT ROMNEY.

    December 3, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. jennynewyear

    And guess who is SECOND???

    December 3, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. Ron

    You have to love the "party of morals". 2 affairs, 3 wives, ethics violator according to his own fellow legislators. He's the shining light to the right? This republican party has no shame. All the time Huntsman, who carries the supposedly party "morals" better than any other candidate out there running is all but ignored. I think we're living in the Superman "bizarro" world.

    December 3, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  23. bad2worse

    Ron Paul will never get nominated by the thug republican parasites because he disagrees with them on a whole truckload of issues. Go to his website and see what he is about, instead of listening to media crapola.

    December 3, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. Tonyl

    Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann are running to be VP for one of the front runners. Ron Paul is his own man fighting for his true principals and is the most honest of the whole bunch. Newt is a low life conniving creep playing dirty politicsi behind the scenes. This man will be starting a third world war with nuclear weapons if elected.

    December 3, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  25. joe

    not surprised. the crazies rule in that party!

    December 3, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
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