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. X-factor left...!

    Newt politically savvy..perhaps but...Dependability makes for Stability exudes confidence in the Populace and/but Newt Gingrich lacks in both "Dependability and Stability" he demonstrated of late since his so-called surge in the polls "It ain't over yet Newt" Remember with all the going-ons the Populace is angry and fickle...veryfickle....!

    December 4, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Thomas

    The gift that keeps on giving !

    Emperor Gingrich , The man who would be King !

    Destiny / History / America

    December 4, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Justin L

    GOP is delusional. Romney is the only guy without a million skeletons in his closet!! Go ahead and swiftboat him a socialist. He's the only guy with a brain and maybe a soul.

    December 4, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. Scott

    Can't wait to get my 1k mailers so I can send and hand them out at malls. Come on, Ron! Let's take the country back from Lobbyists!

    December 4, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess the choice comes down to bland nice guy vs. firebrand foot in mouth. Do you want a guy who seems to be everywhere on the spectrum or one who calls the poor lazy and unable to teach their children? I guess that is going to be the choice. It seems unlikely that Ron Paul or John Huntsman is really going to make it.

    December 4, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. joe can

    Stop trying to stir drama...newt up by only 8 in Iowa and mitt up by 15 in new Hampshire..the real story...newt is in serious trouble in Iowa. His surge has stopped..and now he faces mitts money and several debates worth of attacks as the front runner..with his record good luck with that..he will lose

    December 4, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. mike from iowa

    only four in 10 strongly support their choice of candidate... elderly GOP and the media keep looking to the same-old political players, the ederly will keep electing Nixon neophiites for the rest of their lives. The GOP offers a true Founding Father in Ron Paul. Washington has been taken over by Bankers, Gingrish takes Banker money. Ron Paul is the one who will end the rampant corruption in D.C..

    December 4, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Tommy Mack

    Please oh please let Newt win the nomination... and alienate every independent in America insuring Obama's second term

    December 4, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    Iowa is supposed to be SO conservative.....the so-called Christian right up there would not elect a non-Christian as they view a Mormon, BUT have no problem supporting a wife-cheater, two timer, that would lie just to save his own skin for president who claims that he did some of his earlier sins due to the "passion he had for this country". Give me a break. If President Obama had half the baggage Newt Gingrinch has the far right would have blocked all the voting booths they could in 2008. The most they could do to an honorable family man was try to connect him to his old outspoken pastor and claim he wasn't born in the US. Pitiful if you ask me. But I guess if you're a Republican morals only matter if you're a Democrat. Sen Vitter STILL sits on the Senate for example.

    December 4, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Obayashi

    Gingrich will be the nominee. Romney will flip flops more.

    December 4, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. Mike

    Something CNN did not mention, is that head to head, Ron Paul is the only GOP nominee with a chance against Obama based on this poll. He is in a dead heat with Obama, drawing 15% of democratic votes and 42% of independants. Newt and Romney are both easily defeated by Obama.

    December 4, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  12. Tim Cratchet

    This should be a very interesting election with these two Bozos in the fore running!

    December 4, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. john

    What a charade. Honestly none of them can beat Obama, which is not to say Obama is unbeatable...he just can't be beat by any of these clowns. Ask any GOPer, they are motivated only by "anyone but Obama", but not by the actual candidates.

    December 4, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. DanW

    Where in the country does Newt think he is going to find enough votes to win? He's like Barry Goldwater without the personality.

    December 4, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. chuck weidemann

    As soon as the pretend candidates drop out...Perry,Bachmann, Santorum, which should happen after Iowa. The race will start in earnest!!! That's when Paul and Huntsman will start to shine...Romney will fall in New Hampshire and be toast!!! Anyone's guess from there.

    December 4, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Alec Richardson

    Go Ron Paul!

    December 4, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. tstorm

    Republicans are so SCREWED UP. Our country would be in terrible shape (again) if they unfortunately took over.

    December 4, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. marty

    It's difficult to know if the Gringrich backers support him for his , umm, love of country or, umm, his pugilistic, nasty, manner of speaking. The Republicans seem to want an attack dog, not a statesman. Newt Gingrinch is a boor.

    December 4, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. Ron

    So they are "shifting" their support from Cain to Gingrich. He's that stalwart guy who had all kinds of ethical problems when he was Congressman, the guy who cheated on his wife who had cancer while he was prosecuting Clinton, the guy who made huge amounts of money lobbying for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (oh, right–He says he was "consulting.") And poor kids don't have a work ethic, but rich kids do? Let the rich kids get the education and put those poor kids to work as janitors. The family values crowd are a bunch of hypocrites.

    December 4, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. MaryM

    Not for long newt, not for long.

    December 4, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. gary

    So the party of family values is now leaning toward a philandering lobbyist?

    December 4, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Conrack

    "The House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to reprimand House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and order him to pay an unprecedented $300,000 penalty, the first time in the House's 208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing. ... Rep. Steven Schiff (R-N.M.), a member of the ethics investigative subcommittee that charged Gingrich, called the speaker's submission of false information to the panel "a comedy of errors."

    Tyr to spin this Newt. Maybe you need to write another of your alternative history books, one where the SPeaker of the House in an honorable statesman who works for the benefit of the people.

    December 4, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. Matt

    Laughing democrats

    As the National Circus for the nomination of the republican presidential nominee continues, ALL democrats are either laughing out loud or laughing up their sleeves. Democrats want to see nothing else but Romney losing the nomination and that's why they have been attacking him left, right and center. Things are so far going exactly how they want them to.

    Gingrich have 0% chance of beating Obama and the republicans know it. Many republicans have already owed not to support him and independence in general have already written him off.

    The circus continues as it does with he greatest republican clown of them all (Donald Trump), moderating the next debate. If the candidates were as intelligent as Ron Paul and Huntsman, they would all boycott such debate, but I guess that's how a circus operates. Now all of us have something to laugh about, and not only democrats.

    December 4, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    I like Ron Paul. He is honest. I hope he wins.

    December 4, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. abcd

    it is beyond exciting that ron paul is able to deliver intelligent ideas to so many americans. his honest apptoach towards money and humane approach of liberty is already the conceptual winner. let us all pray deeply that aericans are awakened enough to support liberty and freedom for our children and the world. amen.

    December 4, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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