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. Apats

    Mr. Speaker, We in Iowa want just three questions answered. Any leader of this great nation who cannot satisfactorily answer these questions should not lead.
    1. What will you do about trade imbalance which drains the US economy of its currency?
    2. What will you do about US industry with off shore operations being granted tax free profits generated with cheap labor and who are allowed to sell back in the US duty free all of which has killed US jobs and the US revenue system?
    3. What will you do with US oil reserves locked in US territories owned to the US, oil allowed to be developed and sold back to the US at global prices and not at break even production cost? It is our oil!!

    December 4, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  2. No Newts.

    Just Say No to Salamanders.

    December 4, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. Angela in Oklahoma

    What? The main stream media is FINALLY giving Ron Paul his due? Ron Paul 2012!

    December 4, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. Frank

    What a choice of losers the GOP has been winnowed down to. This is what happens when anti-intellectual, anti-evolution, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-tolerance, anti-climate change and anti-poor functions as an electorate. How sad for them.

    December 4, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. Willow

    If it comes down to Gingrich and Obama (and I not care for either one), I will vote for Obama.

    December 4, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. charles bowen

    Love the Republican list of loosers...... Newt the amphibian Gingrich, Mitt the moron Romney , Ron the retard Paul, Michele the Mouth Bachmann, Rick the fill in the blank Santorum, Cain was the only one with a brain too bad he had to chase the skirts . Thats all Folks Not much talent on the Republican Bench . A vote for a democrat would be an acceptable inteligent solution to the Rich Republican christian coalition..... By the way i don't care what Jesus would do he is long dead and not comming back , no matter how much the Christians Pray. So My Fellow Republicans Pick Your Poison But Never Drink that Republican Koolaid Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    December 4, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  7. Tony Vaughn

    Paul is the only truth teller!

    December 4, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  8. John B

    The Republican Party has fallen low to have this man as the "best" they can put forward. I cannot vote for him.

    December 4, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Gingrich nomination = Dems sweep in 2012

    December 4, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  10. Kevin

    If Romney's eyebrows were a unibrow, his face, including eyes, nose structure, mouth, etc. would look exactly like Bert from Ernie and Bert on Sesame Street.

    December 4, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  11. pete

    how can anybody support newt 3 affairs 300000 dollar fine all kinds of scams to line his pockets .A business that skipped out on $20000 in unpaid rent., .The man is a snake oil salesman .

    December 4, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  12. Siggie

    The media and religious right forced Cain out of the race for having an affair. How is the twice-divorced Gingrich, not only still in the game, but leading in the Iowa polls when he had an affair and served divorce papers to his cancer-stricken wife when she was in hospital? Is there a statute of limitations for piling on a candidate who had relations with someone other than their spouse?

    December 4, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  13. sherman

    Thank you for acknowledging that we are going to have Ron Paul as the next president so we stop bombing people and start talking to them instead!!!

    December 4, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  14. yeap

    I actually couldn't read all of this – I was floored that Ron Paul was actually included in a MSM news source. Plus the sub heading said something about second place? Ya, so shocked right now...need some fresh air.

    December 4, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. Keith in Austin

    Based on current polling, both Gingrich AND Romney would beat Obama if the election was held today. In either case, America wins!

    December 4, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  16. Kodes100

    Enjoy it while it last Newt – becuase it won't!

    December 4, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. Jersey3038

    Ron Paul is the man. He's the only repub I would vote for. It's him or Obama again. Newt is a snke oil salesman and I'm not buying his BS.

    Ron Paul 2012

    December 4, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. bettyboop33

    Ron Paul is the only statesman in the bunch.

    December 4, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  19. free2do

    Ron Paul will win the Iowa caucus. After that who knows?

    December 4, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. Steve

    Why do we even entertain anything Trump has to offer? We don't a egocentric and parsimonious character involved in our own presidential politics. Trump makes the United States look like a collection of morons who make political decisions based reality TV and its parent, the American News Media!

    December 4, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. Toto

    Go R. Paul! Newt can go back to his cave.

    December 4, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. The Dude

    If Paul wins the Nomination, Obama is Toast.

    December 4, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  23. GODZILLA1

    Don't count Perry out – not that I am for him. I'm not. I've opposed him for almost 20 years. But he has the money, tons of it. And his cronies will give even more to elect him. If you want to see the real Rick Perry pull up the front page of the Dallas Morning News this morning to see how he governs, if you can call it that, through his friends, contributors and cronies. Also, look at the DOONSBURY cartoon today – it is right on target.

    December 4, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. MAVVV

    RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT. This guy KNOWS the truth......plus wont feed crap to media ! The media is NOT giving this guy air time. Cause they are afraid of truth coming out. SHEEPLE U CANT HANDLE TRUTH !

    December 4, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  25. Charles Bowen

    If this is all we Republicans can put up, the Democrats will kill us in the 2012 election. My Kingdom For One Viable Republican Canidate! Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    December 4, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
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