CNN Poll: Majority in GOP say Gingrich and Paul should end bids
March 27th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Majority in GOP say Gingrich and Paul should end bids

Washington (CNN) - As the GOP presidential primary and caucus calendar nears its fourth month, a new survey indicates most Republicans would like to see Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul drop their bids for the nomination.

And a majority of Republicans questioned in a CNN/ORC International poll say their party's presidential nomination should be determined by the primaries and caucuses rather than at the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida in late August. But according to the survey, a majority of Republicans don't want Rick Santorum to end his campaign for the nomination.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Six out of ten Republicans say that Gingrich should drop out of the race, with 39% saying that the former House speaker should not end his bid. And 61% say Paul should drop out, with 36% saying that the longtime congressman from Texas should continue to campaign for the White House.

Thirty-nine percent of Republicans say Santorum should end his bid, with nearly six in ten saying the former senator from Pennsylvania should not drop out of the race.

"Republican women are particularly supportive of Santorum continuing his bid for the White House," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "More than two-thirds of GOP the women interviewed said that they wanted Santorum to stay in the race, compared to only 51 percent of men."

The same question was also asked of GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, with more than three-quarters saying the former Massachusetts governor should continue his campaign.

According to the poll, which was released Tuesday, 36% of Republicans support Romney for the nomination and 26% back Santorum. It was a different story in February, when the two men were effectively tied in CNN's last national survey, with Santorum at 34% and Romney at 32%. In the new poll, Paul wins support from 17%, with Gingrich at 15%.

"Republicans recognize that Romney is the odds-on favorite to become the party's nominee. Seven in ten think he is almost certain or very likely to win. That perception may explain his rising support from the GOP rank and file," adds Holland.

The poll seems to dispel the notion that if Gingrich dropped out of the race, his supporters would mostly flock to Santorum, considered the other major conservative candidate in the race. A majority of Gingrich supporters questioned say that Romney rather than Santorum is their second choice.

"If you recalculate the GOP horse race using the Gingrich voters' second choice, Romney's lead over Santorum grows to fifteen percentage points, 45% for Romney and 30% for Santorum, compared to the ten-point margin Romney currently has in the four-man field," says Holland.

"Take Paul out of the picture and reallocate his supporters to their second choice and Romney's lead grows to 19 points over Santorum."

While Romney is the choice of more Republicans and has a commanding lead in delegates, the poll indicates his supporters are still lukewarm about him. A majority of Santorum voters say that they strongly support their candidate. But six in ten Romney voters say they don't strongly support Romney. And while Republicans view Romney as a strong leader who can defeat Obama in November and get the economy moving again, Santorum scores higher than Romney on likeability, honesty, compassion, values, and his stands on the issues.
According to CNN's latest delegate estimate, Romney has secured 569 delegates, and needs 575 more to reach the 1,144 needed to clinch the GOP nomination. That equals 47% of the remaining 1,213 delegates up for grabs. The odds get a bit higher for Santorum: According to the CNN estimate, he has 262 delegates, and would need to grab 882 delegates, or 73% of those remaining.

Gingrich has 136 delegates, meaning he would need to win 1,008, or 83% of the remaining delegates, to clinch the nomination. And Paul has 71 delegates according to the CNN estimate, meaning he would need to secure 1,073 delegates, or 88% of those still up for grabs, to become the Republican nominee.

The primary and caucus calendar comes a close in late June, and if no candidate has clinched the nomination, there's a chance it would come down to a contested convention in Tampa.

A majority of those questioned, 53%, say they the GOP nominee should be determined during the primaries, with 43% saying the nominee should be picked at the convention.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International Saturday and Sunday, with 1,014 adults nationwide, including 463 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for questions on the GOP nomination is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Also see:

Palin congratulates Santorum over 'bulls-' remark

Gingrich campaign charges $50 for photos

Paul: Don't count me out

Romney not worried about Sanoturm, labels Russia No. 1 'foe'


Filed under: 2012 • CNN poll • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. PTNY

    The news programs want this to go on and on and on...never end if they have their way.

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    The party of hell no eating their young, well, their old?

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Steve

    Romney should do the American People a favor and drop his bid for the WH. The current Republicans selection is dismal.

    I like Ron Paul, but as President he would face worse opposition than President Obama.. it would be a do nothing 4 years.

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Tom

    Any republican presidential poll should be stated as follows: "Realizing that none of the current republican candidates for president of the USA can beat Barack Obama, who among them will you vote for in November?"

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Katy Anders

    Breaking News? Really?

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. wonfish

    How come poll didn't ask if Romney should pull out. Only 36% of the Republicans suppory hime. A majority if asked might say he should pull out. I think it is becoming clear that Romney is the pick of the corporate media.

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Justin

    Why is this breaking news?

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. youhaters

    you want ron paul and newt to drop out? then you hate freedom. you hate elections. you hate america.

    March 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. honeybe

    Paul wasted a perfect opportunity to align himself with America's over-whelming anti-war sentiments by constantly attacking the others over their insanely ill-considered warmongering in the Middle East.
    ==================
    Agreed. That position resonates with a lot of voters on both sides.

    March 27, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Jantra

    Think about who OWNS the media..... Ron Paul is the only good man running, and the only name I'll pick on any ballot (if I have to write it in with a crayon-it'll be RON!!)

    March 27, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Max Brooks

    Ron Paul is the only candidate who can beat Obama. Coincidentally, he is the only candidate who is actually better than Obama. (And I'm not an Obama fan by any stretch of the imagination.)

    March 27, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Rae

    Ron Paul is doing very well with delegates. Maybe people need to get more educated on the real delegate count and not the estimated one by CNN and Fox News.

    March 27, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Billy Everyday

    Yeah and republicans wouldn't want you to vote for them either. My bro was at their convention here in MN and they violated party meeting rules to make sure that delegates didn't get their voices heard.

    The tyrants don't work at the white house, they live down the block and lead your local conventions. Those people are the true, bought and paid for tyrants. They do not want people who will rock the boat and tick off special interests that have paid so much into this election.

    There was 50 delegates inline ready to nominate themselves for the republican caucus. The state caucus leader then went ahead and decided to skip the delegate nomination in the interest of time.... Straight up spitting in democracys face.

    Corruption at its heart and no one complains about it. This is a true story.

    http://usnewspress.com/2012/03/27/4843/

    There is no coverage about this because corporations already donated to their canidate and Ron Paul is not one of them. This travesty of democracy we call the republican convention is just a way for people to realize that they shouldn't have tried, shouldn't have voiced their opinions, shouldn't have become delegates and definitly shouldn't have tried to make a difference. Why? Because it was bought and paid for long ago.

    What a disgusting excuse for a democracy our country is.

    March 27, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. LesserOfFourEvils

    Who cares what Republicans think about Ron Paul. Is Ron Paul even considered a republican?

    March 27, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Bill

    Majority of Americans would like to see all GOP candidates drop their ridiculous bids for the White House.

    March 27, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. MobiusEight

    Heh, Ron Paul's supporters won't vote for anyone but Ron Paul. And I don't care if Gingrich is crazy, I want my Moonbase, dammit! What will we get with Romney or Obama? A stagnant country for the next 4 years? Neither of them will have control of Congress, so nothing will get done! Let's try something that's worked before, like another space race! Last time we did that, everyone loved it and it inspired many young people to become scientists and whatnot, then later on helped us develop the technologies that make our modern era possible. Or... we can just, ya know, stay here and keep caring about what religion and color people are and judge them based on it. CNN seems to love keeping that up.

    March 27, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. ertawertawt

    the most confusing thing about this:

    "Republican women are particularly supportive of Santorum continuing his bid for the White House," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "More than two-thirds of GOP the women interviewed said that they wanted Santorum to stay in the race, compared to only 51 percent of men."

    March 27, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. John

    more like broken news

    March 27, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. timothy

    Republicans had their chance to nominate Ron Paul. I wouldn't let Mitt or Newt or Rick be in charge of a kindergarten.

    March 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Sal Voce

    This is a STUPID POLL! 100% of all Republican polled also wanted O'BUMMMER to withdraw from the race as well!

    Gee, go figure! Ya think ANY of this will happen or is it just yet more press hype??

    March 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Linda

    Once again your headline is misleading, CNN. It leads one to believe that somehow you polled ever person claiming to be Republican in the U.S. and that the majority want Gingrich and Paul to drop out of the campaign for the GOP nomination. I read the article really just to see what survey was used. I'm ashamed that I wasted my time because I knew you didn't ask me!

    March 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Paulbot

    After a career of not caring about what most of the GOP thinks, I seriously doubt Dr. Paul will start now.

    March 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Aaron

    Why didn't the write stick to either writing out all the numbers and not just half?

    March 27, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Oh Really?

    They should. So should Santorum. Santorum has 1/2 the candidates Romney does, and he's in second place. Another week or two and it will be impossible for him to catch up. Gingrich and Paul are so far behind in the deligate count there is nothing for either of them to do except continue to entertain us. Neither is viable.

    March 27, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. cecilia

    think they might ask romney and santorum to quit also – that would be good

    March 27, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9