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. Cody

    Terribly written piece...all this talk about Gingrich in 1st & Romney in 3rd, but never any more mention of Paul in 2nd. If the media would stop holding Ron Paul down, he would easily be polling 1st through many states. We get it, Ron Paul scares the media, now stop your one sided stories and give the guy some credit...

    December 3, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  2. Alex

    Oh my god CNN, your bias shows again. Gingrich first, Romney third. What about second???!!!!!

    If you guys weren't biased it would read Gingrich first, Paul second, Romney third.

    Ron Paul is well in second on his way too first as Newt Gingrich gets exposed for the fraud he is.

    December 3, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  3. Derrick Gaskin

    Oh god, We can't say his name. Is it Voldemort?. Nope Ron Paul is Second. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.
    It's pitiful.

    December 3, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  4. m

    wow...you continue to say mitt newt....any other puppets you want to mention? we dont want who you want...let the people decide..and for gods sake acknowledge that ron paul is there.

    December 3, 2011 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. Val Rankov

    Who is the guy in the middle photo? CNN please remind me his name.

    December 3, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  6. jim dollinger

    Newt has no chance. in a few weeks many Americans are going to be surprised by Dr Paul's margin of victory in Iowa.

    December 3, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  7. Johnson

    Who's in 2nd place? Why would CNN mention the 1st place and 3rd place but not the person in 2nd place?

    December 3, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    ◄Iowa newspaper backs Romney
    ►TRENDING: Gingrich ahead in Iowa, poll shows; Romney drops to third

    So "endorsements" really don't mean a thing!!

    Obama 2012

    December 3, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  9. EdR

    Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Speaker Gingrich during his term, including claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. Following an investigation by the House Ethics Committee Gingrich was sanctioned $300,000.

    Over the span of eight years, Gingrich was paid $1.6 million as a “consultant” for Freddie Mac, which was concerned about new regulations under consideration by Congress to reduce the risk of a financial meltdown in the house financing market.

    Quote from Gingrich about his now ex wife (he is currently on his 3rd marriage). "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer."

    and this is the republican front runner.

    December 3, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  10. scat398

    Nice to see Iowans starting to see Romney as the non-republican he is. Wake up new Hampshire mitt is not a Republican. He does not believe in less government and real spending cuts.

    December 3, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  11. Rey

    Here comes Ron Paul around the corner!

    December 3, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. Thunkforyourself

    Who is in second?

    December 3, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  13. Jack213

    um...who's in second?

    December 3, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  14. RayJacksonMS

    Yeah Iowa is full of idiots and no one is going to follow what they do. After all that drooling fool Bachmann was their first choice and you see where she is at now.

    December 3, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  15. Shannon Gillespie

    Gingrich is a fraud, I hope Iowa voters do even the slightest bit of research into the corrupt, fraudulent practices of this man and the many "organizations" he has either started or been involved with that have been either suspected of dodging taxes or putting money directly into Newt's pocket.

    December 3, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    Take the serial adulterer off the list and put Huntsman on instead, and the GOP will have a final list I might just consider MIGHT.

    As long as Newt is there, "one bad apple ......"

    December 3, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  17. mary jo neewport

    CNN still refuses to name Ron Paul as a leader in the race for GOP. So sad. Biased media is a tragedy to jounalism. Thank God for the internet!!

    December 3, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  18. SiriusVH

    OK, so now, GOPsters enter the phase where they finally choose the most lunatic and backward candidate they can pick. From that odd perspective, it does make sense to focus on Gingrich and Paul.

    December 3, 2011 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. me

    so according to the headline who's in second? way to minimalize cnn! you won't change my vote for ron paul!!

    December 3, 2011 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  20. michael

    Wow, a man who served his hospitalized, cancer ridden wife with divorce papers is now the "family values" candidate. The only hope of a win for the GOP is if Paul gets nominated for its the only candidate which would make me think twice about voting for Obama.

    December 3, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  21. BeverlyNC

    Why is Iowa relevant anymore? They are so out of the mainstream of the rest of America. Anyone who would support ANY of these Republican candidates needs to reevaluate theiir values and how gullible they are, There are no viable or believable Republican candidates. They are liars pretending to be human beings.

    December 3, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. cb

    Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Speaker Gingrich during his term, including claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. Following an investigation by the House Ethics Committee Gingrich was sanctioned. Gingrich acknowledged in January 1997 that "In my name and over my signature, inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable statements were given to the committee". The House Ethics Committee concluded that inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented "intentional or ... reckless" disregard of House rules. The special Counsel concluded that Gingrich violated federal tax law and had lied to the ethics panel in an effort to force the committee to dismiss the complaint against him. He has always been about the money.

    December 3, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  23. pete

    Newt in first, Romney in third. Wait so who is in second here?

    December 4, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  24. JS

    I can't wait until we can say the words "President Gingrich".

    He will bring back the credibility to the office of the president after the incompetence of President Obama. Gingrich has a vast experience and knows how to get people from both sides of the isle to work together.

    He'll bring us back to the good days of Reagan and Clinton type debate tone.

    Enough of this radical socialism that Obama is trying to shove down our throats. Please vote for Gingrich.

    December 4, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Dellaman

    Amazing that such an ethically flawed man with such monumental baggage can be in the lead. Just shows you how weak the Republican field is.

    December 4, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
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