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

    Gingrich has more baggage than all the airlines in the world. His elitist hypocrisy will be exposed to the Nth degree if he's the nominee. As long as Republicans keep coddling these right wing whack jobs, they'll continue to fizzle. The Rupert Murdoch Party has devoured the GOP. Conservatism has been replaced by McCarthyism.

    December 4, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. SS

    Ron Paul is the only honest guy in the room. The rest are all garbage,

    December 4, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Honest news

    This needs to be repeated by other comments multiple times.

    Look, I'm not really for Ron Paul, BUT, to not have him as second place mentioned within the headline is extremely biased news. That's huge. Why is this not being addressed?

    December 4, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Tony

    Keep climbing, Ron Paul! Keep spreading the message and winning minds!

    December 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Anyone else notice, at the top of the page, that Ron Paul "shares" his space with Donald Trump - while all the other candidates (including Cain and Bachmann) get full-size pictures?

    December 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Mr

    Iowans are pathetic. Ron Paul in second place? Really? They would put that psycho in office? Ouch. Seems like Iowa is a little out of touch. Lol.

    December 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. NameTom

    My previous post (supporting Romney) was pulled by the CNN left wing media.

    What gives, only post stuff that fits your political agenda?

    December 4, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. ed

    The Republican candidates are like Alice in Wonderland. Newt needs youth, Romney – heart, Perry – brains, Bachmann – skirt, and Ron Paul needs his screws tightened.

    December 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Melinda Wallace

    Although I oppose most Republicans, I am from Utah and I can honestly state that Jon Huntsman Jr. is a man of
    exceptional character, intelligence and honesty. Speaking very fluid Mandarin Chinese, Huntsman was called to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China and was serving our nation in Asia while others were campaigning. His campaign isn't pumped up with Corporate money, but please give Jon Huntsman serious consideration.

    December 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. berucem

    any state where bachmann wins a straw poll can not be taken seriously

    December 4, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. M

    Go Ron Paul!! The headline should read,"Ron Paul prepares to sweep GOP nomination!

    December 4, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. BlackDynamite

    Ron Paul makes too much sense. The GOP would never go for him........
    BD

    December 4, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. luvUamerica

    I wonder if Mormons realize that they are not acceptable to Right Wing Republican party politics?

    December 4, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. ST

    I would humbly ask the media to do us (all voters) a big favor. Please prepare a Check Box which includes: qualifications, values, trustfulness, intelligence, understanding of different issues, worthiness., etc. Let us tick or cross. By doing this, we will for sure come up with the right candidate as a nominee!

    December 4, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. anonymous

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

    lmfao, who's in second? I can only guess..
    Ron Paul, please America, give this man the credit and attention he deserves!
    It's not the will of CNN it's the will of the people.

    December 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. BombardierBob

    House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the worst of the lot, when he pushed for bail outs. Ever wonder why, because he was the one who made money when all others lost money when the market took a major hit. At least Ron Paul is more for the people and not his own pocket like House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

    December 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. mejazzbo

    Even in second place, Ron Paul will only receive a miniscule about of air time in the next debate. I'm amazed he is even mentioned in this article.

    December 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. mfx3

    A bigger story to report is how far the GOP has fallen, rather than just Mitt and Herman.

    December 4, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    A vote for Ron Paul, is a vote for anarchy and treason. Ron Paul is dangerous, and you Paul worshipers are too stupid to see it.

    December 4, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. tosser

    Ron Paul 2012! Join the Revolution!

    December 4, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. GCV

    The Democrats should let the Republicans battle one another right up to election day. The party is imploding. What a sorry mess of a political party they have become. These people are so irrational that they are playing to the extremist view rather than the mainstream view. The result is so much bigotry, paranoia, ignorance, and greed the there is nothing noble or honorable in their stand. The only mainstream candidate they have is Mitt Romney and he is being defeated by his own moderation. This is so crazy.

    December 4, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Maxima

    How can the media be so unfair to Cain? Not that I accept what he has done, but the journalists out there need to remind America of what Gingrich did while he was in office and in HIS private life! He's a crook!

    December 4, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. CSher

    Well, there's one thing to be said for Gingrich, all his dirty laundry has already been run up the flag pole for the whole world to see. Why anyone would still want him for president after all that is beyond me.

    December 4, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. CSher

    Well, there's one thing to be said for Gingrich, all his d1rty laundry has already been run up the flag pole for the whole world to see. Why anyone would still want him for president after all that is beyond me.

    December 4, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. michael love

    ron pauls number are the only consistent ones. grinchrich will drop like all the other clowns the repuglacans kick onstage. go ron paul

    December 4, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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