Poll: Gingrich supporters would split between…
March 16th, 2012
03:59 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Gingrich supporters would split between…

(CNN) – The question has been circling for days: If Newt Gingrich were to drop out of the race, who would get his supporters?

A new poll released Friday indicates that his base would split its vote evenly between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, the top two frontrunners vying for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Among the former House speaker's supporters, 40% said they would pick Romney, while 39% said they would cast their vote for Santorum, according to the Gallup survey.

Twelve percent said they would go for Paul, while 10% gave no opinion.

Following Gingrich's losses this week in Alabama and Mississippi–two primaries Gingrich had focused on winning–speculation has swirled among political insiders as to how much longer he could remain a viable candidate in the race.

Santorum supporters have argued that an end to Gingrich's campaign would give a significant boost to the former Pennsylvania senator, as they both paint themselves as the "true" conservatives in the race.

Last week Stuart Roy, an adviser to a pro-Santorum super PAC, called on Gingrich to drop out, saying, "With Gingrich exiting the race it would be a true head-to-head race and conservatives would be able to make a choice between a consistent conservative in Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney."

But as late as Friday morning, Gingrich has continued to maintain he'll stay in the race as long as possible, even if that means taking his delegates to a brokered convention in August.

Gallup also analyzed what the race would look like today if Gingrich were no longer in the running. In that case, Romney would take 40% among registered Republicans and GOP-leaning independents nationwide, up six points from 34% with Gingrich still in the race.

Santorum, however, would see more mild gains, gaining five points from 28% to 33%, while Paul would only pick up two points from 11% to 13%.

For the survey measuring only Gingrich supporters, Gallup interviewed 290 of his backers by telephone from March 8 to March 15, partly before and partly after Tuesday's primaries. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus seven percentage points.

As for the poll questioning Republican voters overall, Gallup surveyed 1,947 registered voters by telephone during the same time period. The sampling error was plus or minus three percentage point.

Also see:

Rush Limbaugh joins Twitter

New DNC video pits Romney against women

With or without Adelson, Gingrich aims for Tampa


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Polls • Rick Santorum
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Shouldn't the correct answer from Gingrich supporters have been, "Not Newt. He's not dropping out."

    March 16, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    What does it matter? Neither Santorum or Willard will win against Obama in November even with Gingrich's supporters but let them continue to believe.

    March 16, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Nathan AZ

    Okay, but how many of those voters would swing to Santorum if they knew Gingrich was on the ticket? It's time for Santorum to make a power play and give Mitt a real run for his money. ;)

    March 16, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. JT

    So, more of them would support Romney over Santorum. Now that's funny.

    March 16, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. clarke

    That being the case, Newt should just stay in the race

    March 16, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Anthony

    In other words, whether Gingrich stays or goes will not affect the Republican race. Republicans are stuck with Romney. They should just give up on 2012 and start thinking about 2016. Romney trails Obama by 4 points in the latest FOX News poll, even though the unemployment rate is 8.3% and gas prices are going up.

    March 16, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    If the Newt dropped out both of his supporters would do a coin flip and one would go to Saint Orem while the other guy went to Romney.

    But both of them would want a shower afterwards.

    March 16, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. sam101

    This country is far better off with NEWT as President rather than MITT who cares little about american middle class..MITT presidency aim is to make him into the Billionaires leaque and have a safety net for this kids and his grand kids.

    Obama VS MITT .. Obama wins with 56 – 43 % margin
    Obama vs Rick – Obama Wins with 4% margin
    Obama vs NEWT – NEWT wins with 3% margin..

    I was a OBAMA supporter before and i don't anymore..and Defineatly NOT Mitt Romney who strips american middle class for his wallet..

    March 16, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. NotFooledByDistractions

    There's also a poll out showing that if Romney is the nominee, 20% of those republicans would vote for Obama. Twenty-percent also said the same thing if Santorum was the nominee.

    Either way – 20% of the republicans will vote for Obama. Ha!

    March 16, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Interesting point....to you who are complaining that you might have to buy your own health insurance....Two thoughts..the Republicans are planning to get rid of health insurance as we know it if they can. In that case if YOU get sick and need medical care WHO is going to pay for it??? It won't be the Repubs and it it sure ain't gonna be me!!!!! Of,course the answer is not to vote Republicant!!!!!

    March 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Anthony - In other words, whether Gingrich stays or goes will not affect the Republican race. Republicans are stuck with Romney. They should just give up on 2012 and start thinking about 2016. Romney trails Obama by 4 points in the latest FOX News poll, even though the unemployment rate is 8.3% and gas prices are going up.
    ===============================================================================================
    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! To be within the margin of error of throwing a SITTING President out of the Whitehouse BEFORE you're even the nominee is a GREAT starting point!! Obama is toast and he knows it. Why do you think he and Crazy Joe are already attacking everybody? Because they are as worried about LOSING, and they should be!

    March 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Newt's supporters mostly came from those willing to overlook outrageous character flaws and a very long history of dishonesty. People in that group recognized Newt's ability to sell snake oil and felt he could best debate against President Obama – himself an outstanding debater and a man with an honorable message. Newt might also attract the hard-core racists who would vote for the devil before supporting a person of color. For these reasons I believe his votes will be evenly distributed between Santorum and Romney – Santorum to catch the evangelical/racist vote and Romney for Chamber of Commerce Republicans. Paul's supporters are too unrealistic and idealistic to vote for a person of Newt's character.

    March 16, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Jessica

    We just need to more state rights. Im from California and we can design and implement our own Health Care system. We have the UC system for doctors. We dont need this federal dictatorship. Down to wage slavery. Start taxing big companies and military personnel.

    March 16, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    In terms of cats nine lives
    Newt has used up all nine politically ( morally)!!
    Ron Paul seems to get around 10 % all the time if 90 % = nine lives he used them up and is dead and too old! Remember the chatter on this age matter with McCain!!
    Santorum, has proved he will bring every aspect of his religious beliefs into politics. By my count he has used 7 lives if he wins the nomination Obama will take the other two.
    Romney is neither Fish nor Fowl as far as Republicans are concerned. The teaparty does not like him, 3 lives gone, as flip flopper par excellence any debate with a democrat loses another 3 lives, and his war like stance another 1 at least.
    The convention will be between Romney and Santorum and Ron Paul will try to Broker the vice presidency and could well get it in the republican convention behind doors agreements.
    It wont matter, Obama will get re-elected and all 4 candidates will have lost all 9 lives politically and in a reality,
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    March 16, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Jessica

    We just need to more state rights. Im from California and we can design and implement our own Health Care system. We have the UC system for doctors. We dont need this federal dictatorship. Down to wage slavery!! Start taxing big companies and military personnel.

    March 16, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Dave

    More evidence that Romney is the best candidate and he cannot be stopped. Gingrich and Santorum should just give up now, and quit playing obstructionists.

    March 16, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Anthony

    Lies and Nothing but Lies,

    Romney can't even beat the unelectable people in his own party, how is he going to beat ANYBODY in a general election? He lost to Santorum in all southern states except Virginia (Santorum and Gingrich were not on the ballot), and lost to Gingrich in South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. You can laugh all you want, but I like Obama's chances against a Republican who cannot even win a Southern state against his pathetic competition.

    March 16, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. liberty and freedom

    Ok normajean get this. So if you were sick and needed to goto the hospital pre obummer care the hospital couldnt turn you down. Look at canada they have the same health care system and the people that need surgerys are on a waiting list that's minimal of a year. So if you ever need surgery in the years to come and we still have obama care have fun waiting. At least you'll get free drugs eh??

    March 16, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    @sam – sorry buddy, but no way that sanatorium or newterman would win by such a small margin. The flip flopper is too rich and wooden and has no public presence.
    The other two have insulted every single race, religion, group. The old guy hasn't got a chance either but he keeps taking some votes away from the "front runners" (tongue in cheeck).
    @truth when you have so much to attack the clowns with why not!?!?!?

    March 16, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |