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. Whatever

    Romney third, behind who? Ron Paul, maybe? lmao

    December 3, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. Charles W. Skinner

    Really? They're trying to make ANYTHING out of 401 people with a 4.9% sampling error rate? You've got to be kidding me. This is the problem with small polling samples. They don't really tell you anything. Do a decent poll, getting a 1000 to 1500 person response, and then we'll actually have a decent sample to look at. Until then, this is just the Main Stream Morons trying to paint a bulls eye on Gingrich's back now that they've destroyed Cain.

    December 3, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Clwyd

    How can a party that has one of its front runners drop out because of charges of affairs be replaced by a man who had so many affairs he lost two wives? The Party of no is the party of Nothing1

    December 3, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  4. MaryM

    lol, really the Newt? The candidate that has MORE behavior baggage then Herman Cain?

    December 3, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. Conrack

    Gingrich may end up being the "best of the worst", but there is no way that he can outrun his past. For a guy who likes to throw around his "vast" knowledge of history, I wonder how he thinks that he can rewrite his own.

    December 3, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. Gino

    Maybe they like child labor and poorhouses. Dickens couldn't have written his script better. Newt: adultery is a mortal sin in the Cathotlic Church. Have you been to confession? Or did you just buy the adultress you finally married more bling from Tiffany's

    December 3, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. GregD

    Gingrich first.... Romney third!
    This whole ignore Ron Paul thing is starting to get ridiculous! There is a good reason why he is polling so high despite getting next to zero coverage. For those of you who have heard rumors about "crazy Ron Paul", I challenge you to actually check out his website and see for yourself why he seems such a dedicated following. When you are on his site, take a look at his plan to balance the budget within three years. Now go onto the other candidate's site and find their plan to balance the budget. Can't find it? That's because they don't have a plan. They talk about how important it is to balance the budget but have no way of getting there. It is just an empty promise.
    Ron Paul never flip-flops, he doesn't have any skeletons in the closet (looking at you Gingrich), and he actually has a plan to balance the budget. If you do your own research instead of relying on the news, you will see why Ron Paul's supporters are so enthusiastic.

    December 3, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  8. Patriot

    Amazing how the press tries to omit Ron Paul from the spotlight. The headline is Newt in 1st, Mitt in 3rd without mention of Ron Paul. EVERY single network, conservative or liberal tries to suppress this great message of personal liberty.

    December 3, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Heavyarms

    Its funny how Republicans want "corruption" and "insiders" out of Washington.

    Yet they crowd around one of the greatest lobbyist in our generation.... Newt Gingrich.... (He lobbied HARD for the housing giants and the healthcare giants).... give me a break!

    December 3, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  10. Derek

    Are you serious? Behind WHO? CNN with media bias against ron paul.

    December 3, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. Dreamer96

    Newt Gingrich's biggest money backer is a Casino owner....they are probably giving away free chips for votes for Newt....

    December 3, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Hope gingrich gets the nomination, the debates with obama will be fireworks.

    December 3, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. They all suck.

    all the gop canidates are horrible. It shamefull to think that there are people out there who think any of these idiots would make a good president. Huntsman is the only one who seems sane but i threw up when he endorsed Sarah Palin at the 08 convention. When will the GOP have the courage to tell her she is stupid or that Trump does more harm then good or having god tell you to run isnt the smartest thing to say. Thier all a bunch of punks. OBAMA 2012

    December 3, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  14. Mike Stidham

    Gingrich new world order puppet

    December 3, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Toontje

    I really wanted Cain to stay and win the nomination. But Gingrich is the second best option. Because with those guys (read clowns) as a candidate, Obama's second turn will be guaranteed. It will be a landslide victory of biblical proportion for Obama!

    December 3, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. jariv

    Romney is the only choice rep. have of winning. Romney will be one of the best presidents in the history of the U.S. People need to remove discrimination from their minds. If people do not do this, be very prepared to be discriminated upon by the rest of the world.

    December 3, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. The Unsub

    Where is Pailin? Anyone?

    December 3, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. Rienone`

    Ron Paul baby, Ron Paul! Gonna get Iowa! Then NH, Nevada....

    December 3, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  19. m

    Put them all in a bag, shake it and see which one falls out first. There is your nominee – none of them are worth a plug nickel.

    December 3, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  20. cam2

    The headline in this article is really funny. Even though Ron Paul is in second place, his name is not mentioned in the headline. So typical of the media.

    December 3, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  21. NH Grandma

    And the GOP lunacy continues.....

    December 3, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  22. medianone

    Karl Rove says Iowa not as important as New Hampshire!

    December 3, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  23. popeye47

    So the guy with 2 extra-maritial affairs takes 1st place after the candidate with only 1 affair crashes and burns. You couldn't write a better comedy than this episode. Going to be an entertaining year. lol.

    December 3, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  24. nvwikiwiki

    I do not know who will be the republican candidate in the end. It does not matter, any though or idea will not get pass the do nothing congress.

    December 3, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  25. Tom

    Yet again the media is ignoring Ron Paul.

    December 3, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
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