Gingrich ahead in Iowa, poll shows; Romney drops to third
December 3rd, 2011
08:33 PM ET
3 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. Wicked Fairy

    Ron Paul looks like a psyclobin mushroom taken out of dry storage from 40 years ago.

    December 4, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. gg

    get on the train to nowhere-all aboard

    December 4, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. John

    I think it shows the absolute, mindless hypocrisy that the GOP has come to evoke for me and a lot of Americans that Newt Gingrich's campaign is still going despite his extramarital issues, and Herman Cain's is going down in flames because there's even a question. One is white. The other is black. Shame on them. Shame on them for thinking I'm stupid and can't see what a bunch of racist bull this all is. The GOP should really start wearing the pointy white masks that they really support.

    December 4, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Was a joke this guy and the hole GOP is. Amyone that votes for them are voting against thier own best interest and will get what they deserve !.

    December 4, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Hooch

    With no allegiance to either party, this independent voter is easily having my vote for Obama cast in stone! If Newt is the best alternative being offered by the GOP they might well save their money now and use it in 2016. Newt would be a disaster!

    December 4, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. gwats

    If this is the best field the GOP can muster, the Obama family can call up the mover and tell them no one is leaving the WH for another 4 years.

    December 4, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. redwine9991

    Murdoch decided that Newt will be the candidate for the republican party and the misinformed Fox viewers are already getting the memo.

    December 4, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Concerned

    When are these clowns going to realize that it doesn't matter who gets the Republican nomination? The President will trounce any of them! I can't wait to watch...

    December 4, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Glen

    CNN when are you going yo give Ron Paul his due? He is consistent and worthy of commentary. He may not be the best looking candidate but that's not what we need right now. We need someone who can stand up for what is right and just and get it done. He is the best option the GOP have. Sure he has some "out-there" ideas but all politicians do and very few of those ideas get passed. Give Ron a chance to sink or swim!

    December 4, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. sherri

    Ron Paul does have good idea, but he and his supporters are so angry that it turns people off and they won't listen to what he has to say. I say Newt has the best chance.

    December 4, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. voiceofreason

    GO RON PAUL!!!

    For future reference.

    Why do we permit news media to mediate the debates to begin with?

    It seems to me that the media should be there to report the debate, not drive the agenda.

    All political debate should be moderated by non-media professionals and the media should be invited to cover the event.

    The idea that the media is impartial is preposterous. Either the media brings strong political bias to the debate or they skew the results of the debate based on who they think the public wishes to hear from.

    The whole idea that politics can and should be reduced to 30 second sound bites is ridiculous.

    December 4, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. EyeOfNewt

    Now that the greatest skirt chaser has decided to go home and save his marriage with the real "Good Wife” that i looks like the Eye of Newt has a chance to go after the Bama man. Now if we can get a black woman VP that maybe is handicapped in some way they can one up the Democratic Party and play the r a c e – c a r d coolness and hipness in a sly type of way. I take one Newton please and hold the VP attempts that blew the last one with Grandpa and the new village idiot from Alaska.

    December 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. Voter445

    Ron Paul supporters: the reason that Dr. Paul has not gotten serious media coverage, is because he is not a serious NATIONAL candidate. Second among repubs in Iowa does not translate to viable candidate. As an inodependent swing voter, I would never vote for ron paul. Ayn Rand novels do not translate to reality. I admire your conviction though...If it does snow on caucus day in Iowa, Ron could win that day

    December 4, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. longshot

    So, the GOTP is left with retreads, failed candidates from previous elections that it looks like they're going to settle for – that will really get the base excited. Funny that they avoided these two as long as possible (despite them being so well known).

    December 4, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. Paradox

    It's quite ironic that the republican supporters came up with the flip flop excuse to not vote for John Kerry in the 2004 elections, but here they are flip flopping themselves along with their canidates. As far as thier excuse for our current president needs to go and is crappy because he has no experience then tell me where Cain's political experience is (even though he's done for).

    December 4, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. johnnieg

    We lost one Republican for 1 affair, and the leader ,Newt ,who had 2 affairs is the leader! Only in America.

    December 4, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. Scott E Downer

    Mitt Romney is not liked at all has to many problems and to much baggage ! I am From New Hampshire and has known Romney for 20 years .We do not need some one like this to Representative of America ! President Reagan Had many talks with Ron Paul and said if he had Done what Dr.Ron Paul we would had spared over a million lives.President Reagan endorsed Doc.Ron Paul and was the only person President Ronald Reagan ever endorsed 2012 Election will be the future of America for Liberty.But not Just for America but peace from talks Not Guns forced And Drama brought to other"s .

    December 4, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. Hi

    If I could vote I would definitely vote for Ron Paul. He seems to be the most honest and the most intelligent of them all..

    December 4, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. JC

    Poor Mittens. He must feel unwanted. LOL

    December 4, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. John A from Bullhead City

    I am not a Republican, I am an Independent who is interested in big change... and the only person up here that would make me not vote for Obama again is Ron Paul. He is the only one who would shake things up enough to really make a difference. Also, I think he is the only one up there who will actually do what he says.

    December 4, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Enzo

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

    WHO'S SECOND?

    LMAO This is what I call going out of its way to ignore a candidate. The corporate media won't decide the election, not this time!

    December 4, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Darryl Schmitz

    Wow, I hope the guy here who takes a potshot at Paul's age is not serious. Paul (a doctor, no surprise) is is a lot better shape than the supposed flavor of the week, Gingrich. The highest priority should be to reform the mindset of corruption in the White House, and Paul is the ideal person, having demonstrated an entire career of integrity and consistency. And I have no doubt he would choose a like-minded vice presidential running mate... and we do have clear provisions for succession in the unlikely event of his death while in office.

    December 4, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. RINO Bil

    So why is a white adulterer (Gingrich) still at the top of the GOP presidential poll while a black adulterer (Cain) forced to drop out? Are Republican Tea Party voters THAT racist, or does Gingrich have less regard for moral values while Cain has more.

    December 4, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. Doug

    Don't get excited Ging -Ding's. The only place Newt is going to end up is another book signing. Doug.

    December 4, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. GonzoG

    For 2012, we're being given a choice beween a guy who's inspired so much distrust in congress that he can barely get anything done, and a field of Republican candidates who run the gamut from fear and loathing to just {meh.}

    When someone finds the best candidate for the job, PUT HIM/HER FORWARD-I'LL VOTE!

    December 4, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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