GOP Insiders say Romney was the biggest win
June 13th, 2011
11:08 PM ET
12 years ago

GOP Insiders say Romney was the biggest win

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – A survey of GOP insiders indicates that Mitt Romney was the biggest winner of Monday night's CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader Republican presidential debate.

According to a National Journal Political Insiders poll, 51 percent of those questioned say that the former Massachusetts governor was the biggest winner of the debate, with 21 percent saying that Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota was the winner. In third place in the survey was former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at nine percent, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at seven percent, former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at four percent.

None of the 54 Republican political operatives, strategists, campaign consultants and lobbyists who are part of the National Journal's regular panel of Washington insiders said that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was the biggest winner of the debate.

So who was the biggest loser?

Twenty-six percent say Pawlenty, with 19 percent saying Cain was the biggest loser. Twelve percent pick Gingrich as the person who lost the most, followed by Romney at 11 percent, Santorum at seven percent and Bachmann and Paul each at four percent.

National Journal also surveyed a similar amount of Democratic Party insiders, with 35 percent saying Romney was the biggest winner, followed by 26 percent choosing Bachmann as the clear winner.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire 2012 Debate
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. tommy d

    thats not what the polls say... they say ron paul won with 70% and mit came in 4th with 7% with cain and bachman ahead of him with 8%.

    June 14, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  2. tommy d

    all i gotta say is quit lying to the people we already know who is gonna be the winner of this thing that is if it isnt already rigged which i for one believe it is after the bush and florida debacle.

    June 14, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  3. Don

    Ron Paul won this debate hands down AGAIN.The polls show it AGAIN!

    June 14, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  4. nicolette

    Mitt Romney is far from ahead........Ron Paul

    June 14, 2011 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  5. Henri Pellerin

    RON PAUL WAS THE CLEAR WINNER!!! who cares if 54 "Republican insiders" said otherwise. 54 "Republican insiders" do not speak for the whole country. This is propaganda.

    June 14, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  6. kat

    We had some strong candidates, I was really impressed with everyone except Ron Paul, he's a little over the top, but any of the others can beat BHO without cheating. My first pick after the debate was Bachman, followed by Pawlenty and then Gingrich, I would love to see a Gingrich/ Bachman ticket or a Pawlenty/Bachman ticket. but any ticket would get my vote over BHO

    June 14, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  7. anthony

    Really? So Mitt's generic, blanket statement, flip flop talking points for answers were favored over Ron Paul's solid, coherent, solution based answers?? Really "GOP Insiders"? Wow. The Party of No is also the Party of No Common sense.

    June 14, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  8. Dale H Decker

    Did anyone WATCH this debate? Romney was good, but RON PAUL won this debate....HANDS DOWN!

    June 14, 2011 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  9. Andrew Wajda

    This is just proof that the 'insiders' are outside of the mainstream. Everyone was sounding a lot like Ron Paul, he is the leader that has taken charge of the current political debate.

    June 14, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  10. tim utz, minnesota

    I am glad republican political insiders and stratigists are not picking the president, if they are for the republicans then we will get 4 more years of Obama, congrats in advance to the DFL.

    June 14, 2011 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  11. Brett

    "None of the 54 Republican political operatives, strategists, campaign consultants and lobbyists who are part of the National Journal's regular panel of Washington insiders said that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was the biggest winner of the debate."

    Well I guess they've lost all credibility. We'll let the polls decide.

    June 14, 2011 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  12. floyd

    Really romney????? Ron Paul answerd real issues far better... My vote is leaning for Ron Paul!!! He just make's more since!!!!

    June 14, 2011 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  13. tim

    romney has obamacare that is why he is never going to win in 12. he stand no chance beating obama. american is not read for republican president yet, after they ran this country into ground. american will never forgot what republicans have done to our country. bush and repbulican nearly and bancrupt this nation. they really thinks american is going to do that again by electing this extremes right wing social engennering.

    June 14, 2011 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  14. jjacksonRIAB

    Well, they had better change their tune then, because unless people choose Ron Paul, Obama will win. Paul is the only one with any integrity, so it should probably come as no surprise the the NJPI chose everyone else but him – it's consistent with their neocon values.

    Bush singlehandedly demonstrated the failure of the neoconservative movement. Obama doubled up on the same policies. The public is tired of neocons. If the "insiders" continue to support such candidates they might squeeze one in again somewhere, but if those policies win another presidency the country as a whole will lose.

    June 14, 2011 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  15. westwing

    Romney sounded smooth and polished like a slick talking car salesman. Gingrich had a more direct, confident, no nonsense delivery like the guy who owns the dealership.

    June 14, 2011 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  16. Notanidiot

    Clearly these numbers mean nothing. Romney is a perfect example of someone who talks the talk, educated Americans want someone who will walk the walk.

    June 14, 2011 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  17. tyler d

    2010 was the start of the 2012 campaign. In 2010, the insiders of the Republican party meant significantly less than in 2008. Their opinions will be the inverse of how the population actually votes. Out with the "insiders", in with the "outsiders". Like it or not, it's coming.

    Remember the 2008 cycle? Rudy was leading the pack all the way to... nowhere. Insiders are just giving their opinion of the status quo. But the status quo does not hold reigns on the party anymore. The nomination is going to Bachman, Cain or probably Paul (since he is saying the same thing 4 years later, and increasingly correct by each month).

    June 14, 2011 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  18. indie voter

    Hopefully they will all fade away after they lose. Not stick around like Palin did.

    June 14, 2011 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  19. John Baker

    Who cares what "Insiders" think?

    June 14, 2011 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  20. Theeaglesnest

    I am sorry, but I do not agree with everyone saying Romney won the debate. I thought Paul, Cain and Gingrich was better done what he was. Especially Paul, he did not spend time downing Obama and the democrats, he stated the facts, what he would do about it and went on with his business. I believe America just wants to see a down and dirty election. I think we need to just elect the best person we can. I do not care about the party, I just someone in there that will take care of business and quit playing the polictical game.

    June 14, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  21. diridi

    May be he is front-runner, my guess...but GOP does not have vision for this nation....Obama2012.

    June 14, 2011 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  22. Joe Stephens

    Nothing could be a greater endorsement for Ron Paul than being shunned by political insiders.

    June 14, 2011 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  23. Jordan

    So, none of the repbulican "strategists, and lobbyists" think that Ron Paul was a front runner last night? Hmm, isnt it funny that he and Bachman are only 4 percent "losers." Shouldnt that show you what people thought of Ron Paul?

    June 14, 2011 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  24. Flim

    Ron was the winner! Funny how the media keeps pushing Mitt...

    June 14, 2011 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  25. Nancy

    Michelle Bachmann is the fresh new face the GOP needs. We are tired of the same old dog in the race. Romney will never beat Obama and that is a dangerous proposition.

    June 14, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
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