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. sidneyhop

    I dont think there was a better picture of Ron you could have chosen CNN!!!!

    BLATANT media manipulation of public opinion!!! Why dont you just come out and SPONSOR a candidate like they do in nascar!!! Then newt or whichever other corrupt sellout candidate you want to inflict upon the American people could wear a CNN hat and wave little CNN flags when theyre on camera!!! Great idea eh?!?!

    December 4, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  2. warren

    Republican canidates. Crap on a stick!

    December 4, 2011 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  3. The "Family Values" Neocon is a Wife Cheater

    LOL – the GOP wanders from one wife cheater to another, with bumbling idiot in between.

    December 4, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  4. Matt Vraspir

    Just the talk of the month...

    December 4, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  5. Iolani

    Mister 84 – count 'em – proven ethics violations, resigned-in-disgrace House Speaker Gingrich ought to be barred from elected office.

    December 4, 2011 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  6. Chris

    It is odd to me that they mentioned the 1st place person and 3rd, but not the person who took 2nd? Who is this "Ron Paul" guy anyway? Never heard of him....

    December 4, 2011 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  7. huskersrock1

    If Newt wins Iowa and gets a second in New Hampshire he will be tha anti-Romney candidate and win the nomination. He could even afford to come in second to Romney in both states as long as no one else beats him.

    December 4, 2011 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  8. The Left Wing

    The Republicans can really show off their values with Gingrich.
    Do social conservatives support cheating on your wives and then divorcing them when their ill?
    Does the GOP grassroots support the hypocrisy of impeaching a president for infidelity while he is doing the same?
    It seems they do.

    December 4, 2011 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  9. The Left Wing

    The Republicans can really show off their values with Gingrich.
    Does the GOP support fighting climate change like Pelosi and Gingrich?
    It seems they do.

    December 4, 2011 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  10. The Left Wing

    The Republicans can really show off their values with Gingrich.
    Does the GOP base support a pathway to legality for illegal immigrants?
    It seems they do.

    December 4, 2011 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  11. The Left Wing

    The Republicans can really show off their values with Gingrich.
    Does the GOP base support Gingrich lobbying for Freddie Mac?
    It seems they do.

    December 4, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  12. anthony

    People who are saying Ron Paul is an isolationist – and want to revert back to how we were pre WWII (and then we got ATTACKED) ..... well you know what?

    If someone wants to attack the US – they could do it. Are you going to be a meow and cry and have the urge to go into another war because we are afraid of being attacked?

    Sometimes things happen like this in the world – but we have no business continuing this "War on terror" – there is terror everyday like violent crimes you see on the news.

    Read up on your history – we do not need to control the world people – STOP being so scared of Iran – The more wars we start – the harder they are to finish – if we ever truly finish

    December 4, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  13. The Left Wing

    The Republicans can really show off their values with Gingrich.
    Is the GOP proud of all the ethics violations Gingrich stacked up as speaker?
    It seems they are.

    December 4, 2011 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  14. Joshua

    Does anybody find it odd that Ron Paul is the only one they won't mention? Earlier in the primary, a paper in NH said that Romney was in first, and Perry was in third. Ron Paul was second and they wouldn't even mention his name. The media bias deserves to be called out. Ron Paul is in great position, and no war-mongerers or donald trump ego-maniacs will change that. Ron Paul 2012!

    December 4, 2011 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  15. The Left Wing

    The Republicans can really show off their values with Gingrich.
    Is the GOP proud that he was against the Ryan budget before he supported it?
    It seems they are.

    December 4, 2011 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  16. Harald Schmidt

    As an ex-army person... One person I wouldn't share a foxhole with, Newt Gingrich. I don't trust this person, he's like a weather vane, shifty, shifting with the wind, who would desert you, double cross you when the bullets start flying.

    December 4, 2011 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  17. mc

    Go ron paul!!! ( The only honest one out there..)

    December 4, 2011 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  18. carlos

    Ron Paul all the way. He will be our next president.

    December 4, 2011 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  19. gliese42

    Its either Gingrich or Ron Paul but are they better than Obama remains to be seen

    December 4, 2011 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  20. justiniowa

    This is an absolute lie. I read the Des Moines register every day, and Romney has been in the lead all week. Not that I support any one candidate over the other, but CNN.com is simply making up stuff!

    December 4, 2011 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  21. SC

    Do republicans really want Newt to be the standard bearer for family values? The democrats can hardly believe their good luck with Gingrich in the lead. Not only do they get to win the general election, they can take over as the new party of family values.

    December 4, 2011 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  22. The X

    Ron Paul second! That means something...

    RON PAUL 2012! Freedom all the way!

    December 4, 2011 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Gingrich is a mean spirited hateful old man that cheated on his wife when she had cancer.

    December 4, 2011 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  24. Jeremy

    The fact of the matter is, no matter what you think of Ron Paul, he is the only one who has a shot at defeating Obama. Putting a fat, snarky, establishment-driven Washington insider with a history of running out on his family will just serve to fractionalize and disenchant the party. Go with the guy who has conviction for a chance. And on that basis, neither Gingrich or Romney stand a chance.

    December 4, 2011 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  25. Go Ron!!!

    Go Ron!!! Show them!!!

    December 4, 2011 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
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