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. G.Lane

    And the thirteenth floor moves to second...

    December 4, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  2. Mckarnin

    "Gingrich ahead in Iowa, poll shows; Romney drops to third"...you forgot to mention who is in second place in that headline.

    December 4, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  3. cgs

    Republicans/Evangelicals, don't be stupid. The swollen-headed, fast talking, immoral, pompous Newt cannot win independents. Romney is the only one who can defeat Obama. Those who are religious bigots or think Romney is boring are going to give the election to Obama. I'd much rather hear Romney's plain speak than someone who sounds like a phony televangelist like Obama (shudder) or a blowhole like Gingrich.

    December 4, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  4. Building 7

    Newt Gingrich is the epitome of an illuminati shill.

    Ron Paul 2012

    December 4, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  5. Lee

    I'm feeling the NEWTMENTUM!!!!

    Mitt Romney is toast. His ONLY reason to get the nomination was his "inevitability" but now that this is gone, there's nothing other than an empty suit, magic underwear and perfectly coiffed and colored hair.

    December 4, 2011 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  6. ron paul for president

    Paul for president

    December 4, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  7. Phil

    CNN, why don't you ever talk about Ron Paul? Even though he's in second he's the only candidate you didn't write a sentence about, and this has been going on since the beginning. Lots of people like him, and if you write stories about him they will visit your site and click on your ads. So why don't you?

    December 4, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  8. JOe b

    Notice the headline. Again the media refuses to acknowledge Ron Paul.

    December 4, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  9. Sage

    Voters in Iowa are way too intelligent to fall for the Gingrich nonsense.

    December 4, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  10. 4158

    go ron paul!!!

    December 4, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  11. nolimits3333

    For Republicans America is a platform for individual fulfillment. But here's the catch: the Individual is defined in the narrowest possible terms. Any notion of the "The Public Good" is seen as "Socialism" (socialism being anything the government does for the non-wealthy). The Free Market will fix New Orleans levees. The Free Market will effectively control the amount of derivative based risk Wall Street will take. The Free Market will get us off imported oil(rather than spending decades making terrorists stronger). The Free Market will keep our rivers clean. The Free Market will make healthcare more efficient. The Free Market won't bribe Washington in order to increase it's profit margin. We don't need to worry about "The Public Good", individual selfishness driven by short term profit is a utopian reflex.

    But the world doesn't work that way. Selfishness harms society....tears it apart....destroys the world economy....spills millions of barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.....tears a hole in the ozone...creates a garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas...melts the North Polar ice cap.....creates massive deficits by giving huge tax breaks for the wealthy....

    But the Republicans celebrate this selfishness. It is their core value. For them greed is good.

    December 4, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  12. Kevin O.

    That's nice. We don't want a man who left his wife who was dying of cancer. We also don't want a man who is outdated and thinks paper routes are entry jobs for youth when we have internet and don't need newspapers any longer.

    I will vote Ron Paul. He's the quietest of the group and does not offend me like the rest. And when he speaks he doesn't appear to make a fool of himself.

    I may not agree with all his civil issues, but his economic and international social ideas are in line with my own.

    December 4, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  13. opus

    Ronald regean sold arms for hostages sold cocaine for arms to fund illegal contras and ptopped up facist dictators!! and neocons want to " be like tonald regean" why??

    December 4, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  14. David

    The media (right & left) glazes over Newt's "baggage." If he gets the nomination, the left wing media will open the baggage to expose it as "dirty laundry" and keep the light on it until Nov. 2012... RESULT: 4 more yrs. of Obama.

    December 4, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  15. P.G

    Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, and the Invisible Man.

    December 4, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  16. TomInOregon

    I never paid much mind to conspiracies about the "media Industrial complex" and the like, until this election cycle. ABC and The Wall Street Journal have similar articles posted. Gingrich and Romney in the headline, some guy named Paul in the #2 spot, and deep analysis of every other candidates ups and downs in the state. Unbelievable.

    Try as you might, I'm still voting for "Dr. He Who Can Not Be Named".

    December 4, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  17. Pimpson

    LOL, Newt is gonna clean up. He's killing everyone right now. He's even pulled in front of Obama.

    December 4, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  18. Brandon

    Looking good. OBAMA 2012!!

    December 4, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  19. sidneyhop

    Wait until the real votes are counted. Dr. Paul will win handily!

    December 4, 2011 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  20. mark

    The fact that Republicans would turn to this horribly flawed man just shows how desparate they are for a viable candidate. They have none.

    December 4, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  21. sidneyhop

    Pathetic CNN is as phony as FOX propaganda channel!!!

    Im surprised your colossally inept editors included Dr. Pauls name in the article itself!!!

    Ok, we get it!!! You're desperately trying to take the choice out of the democratic process more than it already has been by choosing a corrupt scu m b ag for us !!! Its OBVIOUS!!! But WE AREN'T BUYING IT CNN!!!!!!

    December 4, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  22. Iamnotfooled

    Just wait a week.

    December 4, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  23. CBR

    Newt Gingrich has shown that he does not have a good understanding of the needs of the youngest of our citizens. To even think that "poor" children need to have jobs cleaning their schools is unbelievable. He has modified that to include clerical and library jobs. Could he find a more damning way to treat these children? Does he realize how degrading this would be even if money is involved? Good grief! Has he ever worked in an elementary school or a middle school? Before making those statements he needed to get a little advice from those in the know.

    There is a level of arrogance when someone makes pronouncements like this. It is easy to criticize but harder to walk in other people's shoes before speaking.

    If the people of Iowa accept his ideas then that will be a different picture of the citizens there.

    December 4, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  24. Shelby

    Serial adulterer gingrich tops the Iowa poll?! Baffling.

    in 1790, George Washington wrote in a letter to his nephew, Steptoe Washington, that, “A good moral character is the first essential in a man.”

    I would think Christian Evangelicals would agree with that..

    December 4, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  25. Lenny Pincus

    Doesn't Newton look like Porky Pig?

    December 4, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
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