Poll: Paul in top spot in Iowa GOP battle
December 21st, 2011
09:17 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Paul in top spot in Iowa GOP battle

(CNN) – With 13 days to go until the Iowa caucuses, a new poll indicates that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas sits atop the field of Republican presidential candidates in the state that holds the first contest in the primary and caucus calendar.

According to an Iowa State/Gazette/KCRG survey released Wednesday, 28% of likely Iowa GOP caucus goers say Paul, the longtime congressman who's making his third bid for the White House, is their first choice for the Republican nomination, with 25% backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Paul's three point margin over Gingrich is well within the survey's sampling error.

Eighteen percent of those questioned say they support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's making his second run for the White House, with 11% backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Seven percent say Rep. Michele Bachmann of neighboring Minnesota is their first choice for the GOP nomination, with 5% backing former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, less than one percent supporting former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, with 5% undecided.

The poll was conducted over a long period of time, starting on Dec. 8 and ending on Dec. 18. The survey indicates that with the caucus closing in, the battle for Iowa remains fluid, with only 28% saying they've definitely decided on which candidate they would support.

But the survey suggests that when it comes to the commitment of support, Paul may have an advantage.

"What our poll says is that 51% of Paul's supporters say they're definitely backing him," said James McCormick, professor and chair of political science at Iowa State and coordinator of the poll. "The percentage for the next two candidates is much weaker, at 16.1 for Mitt Romney and 15.2 for Newt Gingrich."

The Iowa State/Gazette/KCRG poll was conducted by telephone, with 333 likely Iowa GOP caucus goers questioned. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus five percentage points.

Also see:

Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says

Romney defends negative ads

Gingrich: Super PAC hypocrisy


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Polls • Ron Paul
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Have Noticed

    Has anyone besides me noticed that many of the most ardent Ron Paul supporters act kooky? I mean the ardent ones, not the ones who've just decided he's their choice. They're the ones who are the real conspiracy nuts. That 9/11 was an inside job. I am not slamming him for what his supporters do, but his foreign policy is in line with N. Korea's as far as being an isolationism nation, too. They post weird thoughts and always tag RP 2012 at the end of messages. Take a moment and chat with one...you'll see what I mean. But Paul doesn't separate himself from them either.

    December 21, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. shannn

    Thank you Iowa.

    December 21, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. OldRightRep

    Restore the Republic!

    Ron Paul 2012!

    December 21, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. SS

    If you leave it up to the people, they'll vote Ron Paul. If left up special interests or the media, its anyone else.

    December 21, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Logan

    Most of what this guy says makes sense to me, which is why I'm shocked he has a chance to get elected considering who the average American voter is. Good for you Ron Paul.

    December 21, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Me Here

    Now if corporate media would just report real information and not give their crappy biased opinions. Perhaps the people's will may be able to elect anything other than a shill candidate that is exclusively betrothed to corporate interests.

    December 21, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. ishti

    only one man didnt sell his soul to big corporation and lobbies ..is Ron Paul ...Ron Paul 2012

    December 21, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Tim

    Finally, Paul is coming out on top in polls. Hopefully that increases people's belief that he can beat Obama, because I honestly don't think Romney has a shot.

    December 21, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. chuck

    hahahah this is great!...what a bunch of freaks..I am sooo relieved now Obama is a shoe in in 2012..we may even get the house back..hahah

    December 21, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Jamie D.

    After he wins Iowa AND New Hampshire, the r3VOLution will be unstoppable, and the neocons who want to start WWIII will see that the American people are tired of wars of aggression under the guise of self defense. Funny to watch CNN's CIA lady Fran Townsend (though hot) say that Iran is "provoking" us, by capturing our spy drone that we were using to spy on them. Wonder how our government would react if Iran sent a drone over here to spy on us...

    December 21, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Todd in DC

    Yeah. Lets get rid of social security. Having grandma having to eat cat food makes me feel all warm and mushy.

    December 21, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. The Federal Reserve

    Ron Paul delivers babies without his hands. He simply reads them the Bill of Rights and they crawl out in anticipation of freedom.

    December 21, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Don

    President Ron Paul. Make it happen people...or we'll be ruled by establishment.

    December 21, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Fayse

    For all of those young people who "love" Ron Paul, you are obviously too young to know what he really stands for. Ron Paul supports the John Birch Society. He gave a speech in October to celebrate the 50th annivesary of that hateful and racist organization. Do a bit of research and look it up.

    December 21, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. SoSad

    Bachman please stay in the race, you make me laugh. Sanitorium, stay in you make laugh. Romney stay in the race, I want to read more of you not being a Christian and your magic pants? God Bless all of you, except the cheerleader, Rick Perry!

    December 21, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Maverick

    Way to go Ron.......keep on telling all the sheeple the truth. It hurts but they need to know the truth. I believe in U...will vote for U and tell everybody to vote for truth ! Thanks for being tough ! C U in Whitehouse !

    December 21, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. reddawn

    Although I agree with some of Paul's positions he is an ideologue and is not electable in a general election. The "press" is all to happy to write positive articles about him because it only helps the Democrats and makes the Republicans look fragmented.

    December 21, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Should he be the nominee, he won't win the white house. His so called libertarian foreign policy views are so isolationist that it will turn off voters in droves. He is an idealist that doesn't understand that this isn't an ideal world.

    December 21, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Joe McDowell

    From a life long Democrat, who refuses totally to VOTE for a proven politican, Barrack Obama in 2012, FINDS myself with little to NO leadership qualities from the Republican side either.
    The one and only Republican candidate, Ron Paul, appears to be too far ahead of the rank in file Republican Leadership.That Party has spent most of their energy on charactor assinations, that ONLY a FOOL would support their candidate.
    Mr Obama has by Himself, already showed and proved His incompetancy an the LACK OF so many Skills like People, Managment,Advisory, etc, at least His record has already been exposed to the American Public.
    Why would the Republicans simply destroy their OWN candidates?

    December 21, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Maverick

    Keep on telling all the sheeple the truth. It hurts but they need to know the truth. I believe in U...will vote for U and tell everybody to vote for truth ! Thanks for being tough ! C U in Whitehouse !

    December 21, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    I think the poll shows what each candidate's baseline level of support might be. Once you factor in the roaming 20% that seems to want to back whomever is trying on the glass slippers this month, it begins to make some sense. I think it also shows that the number of "roamers" may be dwindling as Paul rises.

    Everyone in the race has gone up and down with the exception of Paul, which probably scares the establishment. Romney hasn't exactly gone down, and he hasn't exactly gone up, either. Romney seems to be in a hover mode, which at this late date must not create the warm and fuzzies in the Romney campaign.

    December 21, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. SportsLogic

    Holy moly .. it's gonna happen......

    December 21, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Jay

    Ron Paul's solid support base comes of the Plato cave effect. Once you've walked out of the cave of ignorance, and witnessed the truth, you can never again go back into the cave an be content with what you know to be false. The American people are being lied to, and Ron Paul is brave enough to speak the truth, and inform them of what is really going on in Washington, and in the country as a whole. Whether you like his proposed fixes to those issues is really secondary only to the fact that one must first admit that there is a problem before one can address it logically. In a field of candidates who want to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters, Ron Paul stands out. When they start to admit that the nation is borrowing half of what it is spending (I.E. We're broke) then the informed people may listen to their solutions, but until then, Dr. Paul is our only hope of fixing the system.

    Ron Paul 2012!

    December 21, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. Eric

    Good to see Ron get some POSITIVE publicity! Glad to see you are using THIS poll. PLEASE stop using the CNN poll that you say is national, though. You have said yourself that Ron's popular with youth, but your "national" poll is only 50+ year old southern caucasians...

    December 21, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Clwyd

    So what are the republicans going to do when the full extend of Ron Paul's Alzheimer's is made public?

    December 21, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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