With 3 weeks until caucuses, Gingrich remains on top in Iowa polls
December 12th, 2011
12:14 PM ET
2 years ago

With 3 weeks until caucuses, Gingrich remains on top in Iowa polls

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Two new surveys, but the same poll position for the GOP presidential candidates in Iowa, the state which holds the first contest in the primary and caucus calendar.

According to an American Research Group, 22% of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa say they support former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for their party's presidential nomination, with 17% saying they back former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 17% supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

The survey indicates Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 13% support, with Rep. Michele Bachmann of neighboring Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, each at 7%. Bachmann and Santorum have been criss crossing the Hawkeye State.

The survey, released Monday with just over three weeks to go until Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses, also indicates former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 5%. Huntsman has been spending almost all of his time campaigning in New Hampshire, which holds its primary one week after Iowa.

Twelve percent questioned say they are undecided. The poll was conducted Dec. 8-11, after businessman Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign and before and after Saturday night's GOP debate in Iowa.

Perry has jumped eight points from ARG's November survey, when he was at 5% support. Gingrich was at 27% in ARG's November poll, with Romney at 20% and Paul at 16%.

The survey was one of two released Monday.

According to a University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll, 30% of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa say they support Gingrich for their party's presidential nomination, with 20% saying they back Romney and 11% supporting Paul.

The survey indicates that 9% say they support Bachmann, with 8% backing Perry, 5% supporting Santorum and Huntsman at 1%. Around 4% had said they were backing Cain, who suspended his campaign while the poll was being conducted.

A CNN/Time/ORC International poll released last week indicated Gingrich with a 13-point lead over Romney among likely caucus goers.

According to the University of Iowa survey, Gingrich's margin over Romney is smaller among "very likely" caucus goers, but larger among those "somewhat likely" to attend the caucuses.

"Gingrich faces at least two obstacles according to our data," says Fred Boehmke of the University of Iowa. "His run at the top may be starting to tail off as it has for previous front-runners. He also faces the challenge of turning out his supporters on caucus night, which will be critical since the gap between him and Romney is narrower among 'very likely' GOP caucusers and 'strong' Republicans."

The poll indicates that Gingrich's support is more than double Romney's among those who say they're backers of the tea party movement.

"Gingrich has become the tea party candidate in this race, and this bodes well for him," says the University of Iowa's Caroline Tolbert says. "Turnout of Tea Party supporters on caucus night could be key to his success in the state."

The American Research Group poll was conducted by telephone, with 600 likely Iowa GOP caucus goers questioned. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

The Hawkeye Poll was conducted by the University of Iowa from Nov. 30 to Dec.7, before Saturday's debate in the Hawkeye state, with 277 likely Iowa Republican caucus goers questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus six percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Polls
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. courage

    Please no NEWTT... do we want to win 2012 or not !!!! please vote with that in mind.. In Saturday's debate Romney was the only candidate to answer – HOW MANY JOBS WILL YOU CREATE – that should have been the real news ..not the 10k bet... anyhow.. let the media drive your debate and we will lose.. good luck all!!

    December 12, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Jana

    Newt left his wife while she was in the hospital fighting cancer, is this the type of person we want in the White House
    making decisions for our Country

    December 12, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    newt is great yay newt I'm hoping he wins cause hw will lose 49 states in Nov 2012

    December 12, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. W

    Ron Paul is going to win Iowa. As soon as Newt drops in polls (and he will - he is a crook - and this is too obvious - wait until Romney gets serious about Newt).

    December 12, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Sorry, GOPers. Old Newt and I go a long way back ... not personally, mind you. Just speaking philosophically, mind you. Doesn't matter who he says he is today. There is absolutely nothing presidential about this guy (policy or otherwise) that would cause me to even consider voting for him.
    ===============================================================================================
    From your posts I doubt you've ever voted for a Republican in your entire life. Your lack of consideration for Newt is hardly a surprise! Sort of like me saying I am not considering voting for Obama!!
    --------–

    Ha. Bugs you, doesn't it? Believe me, my entire family is Republican ... well the older of us anyway. Don't think I wasn't a Republican? I was - for way too many elections than I should have been. One would think my posts DO give me away ... especially my anti-Republican rants. I know the GOP like the back of my hand. It takes a REAL GOPer to know just how damaged the GOP has become, including what you perceive to be my lack of consideration for Newt.

    December 12, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    That was the rationale given by liberal pundits as to why a Republican would be chosen for the most important diplomatic posting second to the UN and Sec'y of State. Since you do not believe it, then why don't you tell me who had the greatest potential in Jan. 2009 to unseat Obama in Nov. 2012? Newt Gingrich??? Donald Trump??? Herman Cain???
    ===============================================================================================
    Liberal pundits huh??? Seems they know as much as regulat liberals, ZILCH.

    Could it have been his business and government experience, that he knows Chinese and was a middle of the road Republican willing to taint himself with the stench of a socialist Democrat administration?

    Truth is nobody in their right mind would even pretend to know who their opponent might be 4 year sdown the road.

    December 12, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Newt?

    Why is the tea party for Newt??? He is one of the biggest supporters of big government in the GOP. Romney is not any better. Ron Paul is the only limited government candidate with a plan to restore sound fiscal policy.

    Newt supported individual mandate and the wall street bail out. He should alianate both Tea Party and OWS supporters.

    December 12, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. indyreader

    When I first noticed that Gingrich was winning some IA polls, I confess I'd forgotten that IA is the abbreviation for Iowa, and assumed that the polls were for a group of Idiots Anonymous. I'm still not sure I was really wrong,...

    December 12, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Democrats somebody wrote:
    Could it have been his business and government experience, that he knows Chinese and was a middle of the road Republican willing to taint himself with the stench of a socialist Democrat administration?

    Truth is nobody in their right mind would even pretend to know who their opponent might be 4 years down the road.
    --------------------
    Yes, they would. You would have to be out of your mind not to do so if you want to be POTUS.

    December 12, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. WhereIsPalin

    Only 3 weeks to go and Gingrich already has "22% of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa???" Game over! Wait. You mean you need more than 25% to win? Sorry, spoke too soon.

    And by the way Paul-bots..........Dr Quack is irrelevant.

    December 12, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Fnordz

    Take a look at politifact site, Newt has a ton of straight up LIES.

    December 12, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. open400

    I am 55 and Genrich reminds me a great deal of Richard Nixon. They both do not understand young voters and could care less if they offend them. They both have a dislike for poor people – even if their policies caused the people to be poor. They both want have no regard for the Palestnians. Last but not least, they are corrupt people that feel rules appply to soemone else.. Why do we want a guy as president that left the House in digrace.

    December 12, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    courage wrote:

    Please no NEWTT... do we want to win 2012 or not !!!! please vote with that in mind.. In Saturday's debate Romney was the only candidate to answer – HOW MANY JOBS WILL YOU CREATE – that should have been the real news ..not the 10k bet... anyhow.. let the media drive your debate and we will lose.. good luck all!!

    Since Linda Farrell (who claims to live in CA and have a brain) and Normajean are so quick to attack me BEFORE they actually READ what I wrote, I will make sure they understand this time around. I'm responding to what SOMEONE else said for goodness sake.

    Mitt creates job alright in China and India and not the USA but go ahead and BET on this guy. Your job is next.

    December 12, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. FedUpWithLife

    It must suck to be Mitt Romney.

    December 12, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Why is the tea party for Newt???"

    Astroturf Frankenstein was never really against "big gov't" or any of the rest of the nonsense they spew. They were against Obama, the New Deal, the Great Society programs, the changing demographic face of Amurika, period. They will jump on whichever "anyone but Mittens" lemming is driving his bandwagon the fastest towards the cliff.

    December 12, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Mike

    I don't understand it, but as an Obama supporter, I can only say "Go Newt!!!".

    December 12, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Wade Wilson

    Wow a lying cheating womanizing front runner was switched with a lying cheating womanizing replacement.

    December 12, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Muchoki

    Alright all you Newt bashers... look at his record while in Washington. Ended Welfare as we knew it. Worked WITH Clinton to balance the budget. Millions of jobs. He's the only candidate with creative, big ideas. The same "bomb thrower" nonsense was tossed around with Regan. It's time for someone to lead bodly... and not by consensus.

    December 12, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. mightyfudge

    Well, the writing is on the wall: Republicans prefer a cheating, lying evangelical Christian to a morally responsible Mormon. Yet another nice hypocrisy from the party of "Family Values"...

    December 12, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS, were those polls you were so cheerfully citing from Rasmussen, who always tilt to the GOP? Polling out this morning shows Obama opening up leads in FL, OH, VA and NC if Newt is the nominee. I hope you get your wish, and are prepared to get a blood transfusion after the election when Obama pastes Newt in a Goldwater-style bloodbath. As I recall, everyone wrote off Clinton at this point in '95, and Newt was primarily the reason why Dole got his clock cleaned.

    December 12, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. NolaBob

    The last thing this country needs is another Washington insider who wants to cut taxes for the rich while raising taxes on the poor. As usual, the fat cats in Washington are not satisfied with the number of learjets and mansions they own, they want to completely obliterate the middle class in this country and replace the work force with immigrants from india and china. America should not elect the government of the dollar, by the dollar and for the dollar.

    December 12, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. John B

    Tis a sad day when the likes of Newt Gingrich is number one for the "family values" Republicans. Those that support him must be praying for forgiveness. If not they certainly should be.

    December 12, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Alright all you Newt bashers... look at his record while in Washington."

    Led the unjustified "oh crap, we know you're going to get re-elected" impeachment of a sitting Dem POTUS for purely political reasons, despite doing the same or worse in his own personal life, thereby starting us on the path towards the GOP attempting to use Congressional investigatory powers to impeach all subsequent Dem presidents in order to get them out of office/hurt their re-elections and re-install themselves in power, hopefully with some permanence. Newtered and his strategery and shenanigans were largely, if not solely, responsible for the birth of hyperpartisan obstructionist no-compromise conservative extremism as we know it and is embodied by the GOP/Teatrolls today. There shoudl be no doubt in ANYONE'S minds that he would abuse the power and authority of the POTUS in an attempt to finally create the permanent GOP majority and authority he was seeking to create in the 90's, and you can rest assured that key components would be continuing current GOP policies of killing voting rights, killing labor rights and shifting more and more wealth and power to the wealthy and corporations while breaking the middle-class' back.

    December 12, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. jas495

    We are in a horrible state if Newt Gingrich is our only choice! What in the hell is this world coming to. Republicans should be shot!, if this is all they can come up with.

    December 12, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. IThinkImMe

    And could Newt look more sinister in a picture? That "smile" would scare a death row inmate.

    December 12, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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