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. krgguy

    If the Republican Party had any intelligence, which is clearly not apparent by their current actions or candidates, they would get behind Huntsman. He is the only one that is MODERATE, POLISHED, EXPERIENCED, and pretty much that could bring in independents and more moderate democrats. But I am A-OK voting for Obama for another 4 years because there is no other candidate in the Republican party other than Huntsman that I would even consider switching a vote for.

    December 4, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Jim

    Get Newtrich will burst just like the Housing bubble he helped create (and took $1.6 million from Freddie as a 'historian')

    December 4, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Docmartin

    Cmon everyone- ANY of the candidates would be better than Oblahblah- the question is not who is the most "conservative", but who can win over the moderates and independents in the general election! Ron Paul just isn't electable. Period. Gingrich speaks well, but has too much baggage. Romney is the only one who can beat the "Annointed one" next year.

    December 4, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. oreo

    It's happening! America' first libertarian President.

    Go Ron Paul!

    December 4, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. teams33

    Go Newt !!!!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. T-COR

    CNN-Jazeera you are a joke of a propaganda media outlet! WHY ARE YOU LEAVING OUT RON PAUL

    December 4, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. jane

    Cheatin Newt will NEVER be president.

    December 4, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Jeff Lebowski

    Its Iowa....when has anyone given a rip about Iowa.

    December 4, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Jill-IN

    Newt-the party of NO values

    December 4, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Southerner01

    There are many people, myself included, who like Newt Gingrich, but had, until recently, written off his chances thinking nobody else shared that view. Now that other people are getting on the bandwagon, more of us are willing to openly throw our support behind Gingrich, as opposed to settling for one of the others.

    And regarding his personal life, remember that Winston Churchill was derided for being "morally suspect" yet he was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. Also, during the 90's while Gingrich and Clinton were engaging in their faux pas, they also together managed to hand us a pretty good decade. Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, was morally faultless, he was a horrible president.

    December 4, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. Anonymous

    I find it incredible Gingrich is rising in the GOP polls. Here's a man-boy who is corrupt to the core; forced to resign in disgrace from Speaker, confirmed womanizer, filp-flop expert, having two opinions on the same subject, depending on the group he's speaking to, shamelessly delivering divorce papers to his wife dying of cancer. WHAT A GREAT MAN OF PRINCIPLE, JUST THE KIND WE WANT LEADING OUR NATION! This clown is drunk with the need of power and we will pay dearly if he gets it.

    December 4, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Tvar

    I find it incredible Gingrich is rising in the GOP polls. Here's a man-boy who is corrupt to the core; forced to resign in disgrace from Speaker, confirmed womanizer, filp-flop expert, having two opinions on the same subject, depending on the group he's speaking to, shamelessly delivering divorce papers to his wife dying of cancer. WHAT A GREAT MAN OF PRINCIPLE, JUST THE KIND WE WANT LEADING OUR NATION! This clown is drunk with the need of power and we will pay dearly if he gets it.

    December 4, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Anonymous

    @mary
    Please tell me your joking, Obama for another 4 years??? You need read up more on Ron Paul I don't think you understand clearly on his position with social security. We need stop thinking how we are going to get by now and start thinking of whats going to happen in the future because if we don't neither of us will have future if this spending doesnt come into control

    December 4, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. MaryM

    You can not make this stuff up. How long before someone makes a comedic movie out of the GOP/TP 2012 candidates for President

    December 4, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Edwin Merit

    @Donkey Party Your name shouts ignorance and your comment confirms it. Thank you for the laughs on this crisp Sunday morning.

    December 4, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Mills

    I could care less about Newt's personal past. What do "family values" matter if you don't know how to lead the country? Let's put the issues THAT MATTER on the table and have a discussion.

    December 4, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Gemini Girl

    The problem is, C SHER, that not all of Gin-Grinch's dirty laundry has been revealed to most people. There are alot of – I hate to say it – ignorant Americans, and they hopefully will find out about this total hypocrisy, then perhaps they will vote for Ron Paul or Jon Huntsmann. And Gin-Grinch's ego & head is so big that the jerk doesn't realize it's not him that people want, it's that people don't really want Willard Romney (yes, Willard is real first name, although he recently tried to pretend that his first name is Mitt!)

    December 4, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. ReeferPower

    Sigh. Looks like GOP is going to go with Newt over Romney.

    December 4, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Mark

    I think I'd vote for Romney – Newt is disgusting – and Paul supporters are so so so WHINY.

    December 4, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Gemini Girl

    Sorry, I meant to say HIS total hypocrisy (Newt, the lizard). This guy is 100% corrupt, totally unethical, has no compassion, there is no redeeming quality in this guy. It's all about the almighty dollar for him. Look at the phony foundation, all his "companies." One of them even skipped out on paying the rent in the office of the building where the "companies" are all housed! Why people would even consider him even for dog-catcher, and SHAME on the media for even sparing two seconds talking about him.

    December 4, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Joe

    I consider myself a Democrat. But if it's Ron Paul vs. Obama, I will actually vote for Paul.

    December 4, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. phillyboy

    Please don't take the high road with Newt's infidelity. Who cares? Can he run the country is the question. Clinton and Kennedy with both womenizers whose wives looked the other way. Both made good Commanders in Chief.

    December 4, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. us1776

    GOP, may as well pack it in for 2012. See ya in 2016 if you're still around.

    .

    December 4, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Whatever

    If the people somehow manage to get someone like Ron Paul into the power slot, I predict the people behind the media will be in deep doo-doo.

    December 4, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. ED FL

    Now that the Newt is close to the top everybody will start disparaging him. That will be easy. this low life philanderer and money grubbing liar is now fair game and there are plenty of opportunities and time for the real Newt and his grandstanding to come out. I am sure there are plenty of the GOP'ers that want to sink him and deservedly so. IT won't be long before more his escapades and women and maybe some men might jump to the forefront and put a few more nails in his coffin.He deserves whatever comes out he is not liked at all by anyone in either party and he will go down as fast as CAIN.

    December 4, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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