Gingrich up in Iowa; Romney’s lead in NH narrows
December 4th, 2011
05:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich up in Iowa; Romney’s lead in NH narrows

(CNN) – As support for Newt Gingrich surges in Iowa, Mitt Romney’s lead has dwindled in New Hampshire, according to new polls measuring support for candidates in the early caucus and primary states.

In a poll released Sunday, former House Speaker Gingrich has risen to the top in Iowa and former Massachusetts Gov. Romney remains ahead in New Hampshire, with competitors catching up.

The NBC News/Marist Poll indicates Gingrich has 26% support among likely Republican caucus-goers 30 days from the first GOP presidential nominating contest in January. Eighteen percent said they back Romney with Texas Rep. Ron Paul close behind at 17%.

The margin between Gingrich, Romney, and Paul falls within the sampling error for the survey.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry tied with businessman Herman Cain, who suspended his presidential campaign Saturday, at 9% each. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa last August, tied with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 5% support, followed by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who received 2% in the survey.

In October, Romney carried 26% support while Gingrich netted only 3%. Now that Cain has suspended his campaign activities, the poll shows likely GOP caucus-goers may shift their support to Gingrich, who was the second choice among Cain supporters. And Gingrich’s advantage over Romney widens among likely caucus-goers who describe themselves as conservative by a 34-to-20% margin.

Nine percent said they remain undecided in Iowa, and only four in 10 strongly support their choice of candidate.

In New Hampshire, Romney is still leading but is increasingly threatened by Gingrich, the poll found.

One month ago, Romney earned 45% support, with his closest opponents in the low teens. Now Romney's support has fallen to 39%, with Gingrich earning 23%.

However, Romney still comes out ahead when asked who voters think could defeat President Barack Obama in 2012. The poll found both Romney and Paul would be competitive in a hypothetical match-up against Obama, while Gingrich lags the president by 10 points in the match-up.

The poll also shows more voters are making up their minds about the candidate they will support. Forty-nine percent of likely Republican New Hampshire primary voters said they "strongly support" their pick.

Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman also drew support, at 16% and 9% respectively. Herman Cain, who only recently came in second in several state polls, earned only 2%. Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry received 3%, and Rick Santorum 1%.

The NBC News/Marist Poll in Iowa was conducted by telephone from November 27-29 among 425 likely Republican caucus-goers. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 4.8 percentage points.

The NBC News/Marist in New Hampshire was conducted by telephone from November 28-30 among 696 likely Republican primary voters. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points.

Also see:

Cain suspends presidential campaign

Reporter's Notebook: The Rise and Fall of the real Herman Cain

Cain Iowa supporters: Media 'took a good man down'

What does 'suspending' mean?

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. westward

    Romney – you never had a chance.

    Newt – you don't either.

    December 5, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. diridi

    Great to watch these GOP filthy Rich Clowns....Nation needs Obama....Obama2012.

    December 5, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. JRR1948

    I would love to be President Obama if Newt becomes the nominee. Picture this scenario @ the debates – President Obama makes an opening statement – then yields the floor to Newt. Newt begins do babble – Obama lets him go on-and-on- and-on until Newt finally "steps in it". Obama's response – "I don't think I need to say anything – Newt proves that I deserve to be re-elected"! The more Newt talks – the better Obama looks.

    December 5, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. John Brown

    I always think by the one someone else will win the primary. No newt! No Romney! No Ron! No Bachmann! No Santorum!

    He is the moderate Republican. The one with no baggage. No flip flopper. Smart and very experience in domestic and international affair.

    He is no Rino just like Tea party like to downgrade moderate Republican. He is just Republican.

    I am a Democrat and I would vote fo him if he won primary. Other than that? I have no choice than to give my vote for that Hawaiin boy!

    December 5, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  5. mghughett

    LOL love it!!! Ron Paul is second right now and yet some still claim he can't win. How delusional can you be?! Romney is the one not going to make it. =)

    December 5, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. Joke's on you GOP

    It was only a matter of time until Romney sunk like a lead weight. And the Republicans pushing unelectable Newt like he has any real chance himself just reeks of desperation without a clue.

    December 5, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. David

    You've got to be kidding me. I've already got my Obama 2012 sticker so from a left-view Mitt is the only candidate that isn't going to alienate independents. Perry is Bush 2.0 with more "God power" but less brain power. Paul is a pipe-dream for republican hippies, and Bachmann... yuck. Mitt's not going to win but he's going to give the democrats the most run for their money. Let's keep this spirited and not be a blow out. We want to feel like we earned Obama's reelection not like we beat up on a stupid monkey (Perry)

    December 5, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. max

    I have held back from saying to much about gingrich because I actually supported him in the 90s.

    Sicne then I have followed him closely. I expect most politicians to be dishonest. I expect some (maxine waters for example) to have such a personality flaw that they cant help but steal and lie.

    I have found few that can talk out of both sides of his face like newt. He is in perpetual spin cycle and must be a firm believer in the mantra "tell a litttle truth with many lies".

    I wouldnt vote for him to be president of any establishment and certainly not my country.

    December 5, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  9. AJ


    December 5, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. Jariv

    As Many say in here. America needs to wake up. Romney is the adult and moral man in this group of GOP candidates. It looks so, so, so, racist to think that Herman was accused and it is now out of the race because of sex and cheating scandals and now you have a adulterer front runner. Come on !!! How stupid that is. Gingrich only cares about himself and for sure you will not have a balanced government with him. I want to just scream out to the world how much of a bad person he is and president will be.

    December 5, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. etta

    And Republicans still haven't realized yet that every single one of their candidates are trash?

    December 5, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. Kaddie S.

    I hope and pray that Gingrich doesn't get any more supports becuase what he said about the children below the proverty level really bothers me. I wouldn't want that kind of person running my country at all. If he thinks that about children, its quite clear how he feels about the adults, and then said it was a fact, where's the proof. People don't just wake up one morning and deciede to be in proverty. I'd rather Romney, win myself. These republicans do throw a lot of dirt to divert away from the real issues, and to me these other things just don't matter if they don't help America. I really wish Bill could come back.

    December 5, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. ShashNahalin

    Salfist Republican's for Newt! Let's nominate Newt and blow up the Grand Old Party in 2012...

    December 5, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Antonio Ferreira

    Let's remember, Newt famously dumped wife #1 for wife #2 while wife #1 was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. As in literally went to the hospital to present her with divorce papers while she was recovering from surgery for uterine cancer.

    He eventually dumped wife #2 for wife #3 shortly after wife #2 was diagnosed with MS back in 1999. And he was having the affair on wife #2 with wife #3 while he was turning the country upside down trying to drive Bill Clinton from office over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

    December 5, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. McShannon

    Newt and mostly members of the Republican party have used third party sources for years to arrange payoffs, promised silence by women that expect some money and cooperation from whoever it's needed. Jewelry purchases almost look legitimate for this purpose.

    December 5, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. Ray E. (Georgia)

    We need someone that will step up to the plate. Harry Truman stepped up to the plate. Lyndon Johnson stepped up to the plate. Richard Nixon stepped up tp the plate. Ronald Reagan stepped up to the plate. All Obama does is vote present. Newt, like him or not will step up to the plate. Taking cheap shots at serious candiates is like Nero Fiddleing while Rome burns. And make no mistake about it, the Annointed one ihas no clue where the fire is.

    December 5, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. voterswakeup

    So here we go; another philanderer, adulterer, convicted felon, all around immoral human bring and life long politician. Find a real leader one that has ethics a a conscience not to mention integrity, would you please?!

    December 5, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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