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. Hot Babe

    Those two are squinty eyed old coots

    March 27, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. RegisteredRepub

    interesting, I don't recall being asked. If I were asked, I'd say this. No Ron Paul shouldn't drop out, he should continue his fight all the way to the convention, I'd also call in to question how they came up with their math considering none of these delegates have been allocated yet. This is clearly CNN trying to mislead people in to voting for 'their' candidate. And of course CNN wants the caucases and primaries to choose the nominee, the media has influence over those results. BOYCOTT CNN!!! The true sons of liberty are taking the conservative party back and their isn't anything CNN can do about it.

    March 27, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. RP supporter

    omg no way, Santorum and Romney suck.
    Till the bitter end!

    March 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Save Us Jeebus

    Love it! Let the GOP spend as much time as it wants with all this in-fighting and name-calling. Americans are more and more sick of it...and Obama's warchest gets bigger and bigger.

    March 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Pete/Ark

    EVERYBODY STAY IN !!!!!!!!! It just wouldn't be fun without you....

    March 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Fake god

    Majority of Americans want the Mormon cult and Santorum cult out too.
    These are the worst of the worst snake oil salesmen.

    March 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. coder

    Let Them Fade!!
    They can a be reminder to all politicians
    As long you act like typical politicians – you will be treated as such

    $2 gas – moon bases – promises upon promises

    None of them have the education, the know how – or the morals to conduct themselves as representatives of me or my family

    March 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. James K.

    Grinich is making too much money off $50 photos to end his bid so soon!

    March 27, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Martin

    GOP supporters say Gingrich should drop out. Trouble is, he's got his head too far up his rear end to hear them.

    He'll fight to stay in the race until June and then will hope for the nomination through a brokered convention when Romney doesn't win enough votes.

    What's funny to me is that this guy preaches that Obama can't run the country without a deficit, but he has massive debts on his campaign after only a few months.

    If you see how he's run other organizations, this is modus operandi for Newt.

    March 27, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. UtahProf

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

    LMAO – clearly this is not a serious "poll" – Ron Paul supporters have no second choice – it is Liberty (Ron Paul) or Death – and that death will be in the form of Obama, Romney, or Santorum.

    March 27, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. UtahProf

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

    LMAO – clearly this is not a serious "poll" – Ron Paul supporters have no second choice – it is Liberty (Ron Paul) or Deathh – and that deathh will be in the form of Obama, Romney, or Santorum.

    March 27, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Mark

    Why CNN....Why do you hate Ron Paul like you do? Is someone paying you for this hate? Like someone else has already mentioned, I will vote Ron Paul in with a crayon if it means I get to vote for him. As a news organization, you should be ashamed. This is not breaking news yet you tout it as such.

    March 27, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. JimmyHat

    I think Obama should give up his "bid"

    March 27, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. UtahProf

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

    LOL – clearly this is not a serious "poll" – Ron Paul supporters have no second choice – it is Liberty (Ron Paul) or Deathh – and that deathh will be in the form of Obama, Romney, or Santorum.

    March 27, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. SoSad

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha, what happened to the TEABAGGERS, lost in transaltion :). TEABAGGERS have no eggs, huevos, no guts. Try and elect a TEABAGGER, you fools!

    March 27, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. timesup

    Newt is on a book tour, not a campaign.
    Ron Paul is just an old man craving attention, is all I can figure, he's 76, and dodging his congressional duties continuing with this charade, right?

    March 27, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. HenryMiller

    Personally, I think Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich should all drop out. Ron Paul is the only man of the lot of them who makes any sense.

    March 27, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Health Editor

    They should all give it up Obama will cruise by this one no matter the nominee

    March 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Core republican Values

    Core republican Values would say that everybody has a right to maximize their own personal gain at the expense of the greater good, the party, and the country.

    So keep attacking each other. In fact, turn it up a notch! On to the convention, Newt, Rick, and ..... eh, the other guy!! American needs you.

    March 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Thom

    Why would the "REAL" front-runner Ron Paul decide to hang it up...makes no sense.

    March 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. Dante666

    OMG YES – LETS GET DOWN TO THE MOST LIKELY CANDIDATE TO LOSE. The republican party candidates (Rick and Mitt)open their mouth and Obama wins another 100,000 votes. Never ever has a group of conservative candidates irritated more people. I am beginning its their game plan. Let Obama go four more and bankrupt the country so the rich can buy it up for ten cents on the dollar. Hang on Liberals – your a short walk from bankruptcy and having to take an outsource job in a third world. The rich are loving it – just a matter of time -not when.

    March 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. newsrell

    nearly six in ten saying Santorum should not drop out of the race. This is FUN, it means the MAJORITY of Republican does not want to rally to Romney. Oh boy, if the front runner is this weak and this divisive, watch out for november, GOP.

    March 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. sarahtonin

    Heck, I'd like to see Santorum and Romney drop out and Gingrich carry their bags for them!

    March 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Pat in IL

    These two are wasting their supporters" money and everybody else's time. For ego? Please show some intelligence and drop out, as you have already over-stayed your welcome.

    March 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. ryan

    its unfortunate that this bias news is pressing this issue. we as a people have no voice now that the media has taken over

    March 27, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9