Gingrich ahead in Iowa, poll shows; Romney drops to third
December 3rd, 2011
08:33 PM ET
6 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. Grand Oil Party

    The real news in this story is that Ron Paul is ahead of Romney. I'm, no Paul Kool-AId victim but the man has been completely disregarded by everyone for no apparent reason. He has always been a more viable candidate than Bachman or Cain and those two were celebrated by the press, albeit for their 15 minutes. Republicans should pay attention to Paul's ideas on foreign policy – peace shouldn't be an ideal left only to the left.

    December 4, 2011 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  2. timjcoo

    Go Ron Paul make texas prould,One can put a 1000 or more to work by building several water treatment plants, and pipe lines to east Tx to help in fighting those fires an help watering the much need dry lands,you r the man

    December 4, 2011 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  3. American Citizen

    I apologize. In my prior post I misstated the attack on Pearl Harbor as December 9. It is December 7th. Our calendars used to include these very important dates in the United States. They no longer publish them. Also, we landed in Normandy on Tuesday, 6 June 1944. In case, anyone else in the United States cares to remember.

    December 4, 2011 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  4. quybaosky

    why would the people voting for this man to the Whitehouse who was fined $300.000 and got kicked out of congress for violating code of conduct.I thought you people are smarter than that.

    December 4, 2011 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  5. hetershi

    the subject should be like this

    TRENDING: Gingrich ahead in Iowa, paull second and Romney drops to third

    December 4, 2011 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  6. really though?

    So no one has commented about how ron paul is second and didnt get mentioned in the headline? Its been hours.

    December 4, 2011 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  7. John

    How can you people vote for a man like Newt Gingrich, He was force to resign from Congress when he was speaker of the House on 84 ethics Changes and he cheated on two wife and one was dying of Cancer. Just how low will you people go. America don't need another crook In Washington.

    December 4, 2011 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  8. Doug

    Go Paul...go!

    December 4, 2011 05:53 am at 5:53 am |

    Herb Cain was in the same spot until the dirty tricks GOP sent the white women after him. Newt will face the dirty tricks now that he is beating Romney. The wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    December 4, 2011 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  10. Doug

    Wait a minute.....that headline reads" Gingrich ahead in Iowa, Poll shows: Romney drops to third. Kevin Liptak. Why is there not a mention of Ron Paul. You people disgust me! He's in second right now, but you only mention Newt and Mitt! You have to be kidding me! I really want to say the "F" word on here right now!

    December 4, 2011 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  11. hemmingway

    How do I get out of this post????

    December 4, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  12. EdSantaFe

    Gingrich will never win the White House.... just ask his wives and mistresses.

    December 4, 2011 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  13. mary

    As an independent I'm 100% behind giving President Obama 4 more years to shore up the country and in a general election when it comes down between what we have now and voting for one of these gop numbskulls -it will be no contest! Besides how many senior citizens out there like myself are really going to beleive that a gop president (and congress) are going to keep their hands off our social security and medicare that we E-A-R-N-E-D!....Really folks ?Wake up out there! You tea partiers are going to be your own worst enemy! They wont stop a what they call fixing social security, medicare & medicaid !–If they get their chance they will do away with it for all intent and purposes by turning it over to the big banks -If you think otherwise -then you aren't thinking!

    December 4, 2011 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  14. José Mora

    I believe you meant to say that Ron Paul rises to second. Uh ... didn't you? After all, to do otherwise, could possibly be interpreted as biased. Uh ... wouldn't it? And CNN would not want to be considered biased. Uh ... would it?

    December 4, 2011 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  15. Gary

    Funny, Cain drops out in part because of the report he had an affair. Newt is on his third marriage, and had multiple affairs while married. Great model of family values.

    December 4, 2011 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  16. Coffeehead

    Anyone who has been sanctioned by congress for ethics violations should not be allowed to run for President–PERIOD !

    December 4, 2011 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  17. Anonymous

    it's all about CASH FLOW.
    NEW "T" has to announce a simply plan to get cash flow to Americans .. RIGHT NOW.. Stop withholding Federal and state income tax for the majority of American workers.. they do not owe tax in the first place. RE INSTATE advance Earned income credit. NO payroll tax "holiday" as this is just a shell game. Forget about revising the tax code (it doesn't apply to most people).. and Flat taxes (we all know it will just turn into a surtax).

    The NEW fast cash flow will benefit small business RIGHT NOW.. Small business is on life support... Most are in the wrong tax bracket to be self employed... Vendor credit..GONE... Business lines of credit .. GONE.. Payments from banks on use of customer credit cards .. SLOWED and fees are out of site... Customer payments slowing.. accounts receivable growing.. inventory growing or obsolete..PAYROLL NOW processing immediately out of Small Business account ... THIS IS THE SMALL BUSINESS CASH FLOW SQUEEZE !!!... oh.. Commercial property values CAVING.

    Problem Solver needed... NOT somebody that makes problems THEN trys to solve them after it's too late.

    America's News that's Stewpid has to stop...

    December 4, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  18. Indy

    If Cain was to endorse Bachmann she could climb all the way up to 2% in a national poll, but then she would speak and drop it down to 1% again.Gingrich will keep gaining traction and take the Republican nomination, Romney just cant get more support then he has built up for the past six years while running for POTUS. If Romney and Gingrich join the Donald Trump reality show they will lose the respect of all voters and Ron Paul and Huntsman would be the only two with a chance, either way you look at it, the chances of Republicans winning the Whitehouse and wiping out the middle class are thankfully dwindling

    December 4, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  19. Johnson

    It is good to hear that with all of his money, his staging, his high paid staff, the rehearsing, the facials, the scripting Romney is not fooling anyone anymore. He has ignored Iowa until now when he runs scared. 20 years running for President and he is being twarted by Newt.

    December 4, 2011 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  20. M

    We would all be better off if like reporting results of elections are no longer done until the polls close, pre-voting polls were illegal and voters were left alone to make their own decisions

    December 4, 2011 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  21. rs1201

    Mitt Romney has to be the Republican beat obama, the loser. Gingrich is too conservative and will not get the independent vote. Ron Paul is too old.

    December 4, 2011 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  22. Name king

    Hey if the people Thinks that supply economics is the way to go, especially in this via-tile stock market era, well this country will be in bad shape. If the past 10 years, with some of the lowest taxes and regulations in history haven't taught us any lesson, I wonder what will we have to look forward to when deregulations and more tax cuts for the wealthy is upon us 2 folds. I also wonder how many more jobs will be cut in the sake of shrinking our government. Hey you repubs may be enthusiastic about pitting every thing on the stock markets.

    December 4, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  23. works4me

    Well if a slime trail leaving newt can make it this far in America, what we become?
    His name should be GIN-GRINCH.

    December 4, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  24. Johan S

    Newt Gingrich is better than Romney. And by that, I mean exactly what the sentence says .. nothing else.

    December 4, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  25. Tony

    Newt is just that "A Trend" He flips and flops and can never commit to anything, he wont be in first place for long.

    December 4, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
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