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. rich

    Things will change when the public will openly accept the best canidate by doing their homework. Vote please.

    December 4, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. topaz99

    The Republican primary race (circus?) seems so removed from the issues and the real world

    December 4, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Larry L

    We're seeing the decay of core values in the Republican base – are they ready to accept a totally morally-diseased Newt Gingrich rather than a flip-flopping, corporate lap-dog, dirty-politics Mormon? How much hate do they have for the President and loathing for the working class Americans? Romney is the very poster child for "family values" and Newt represents the weakness and greed in the modern consewrvative – fueled by greed and a fear of diversity. Which way will they go? What happened to the Senator/Major General Barry Goldwater conservative?

    December 4, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. John

    How can anybody vote for Newt Gingrich after he was force to resign from Congress when he was speaker of the House on 84 ethics changes. He Cheated on two different wife on dying of cancer. He had a deal with a Jewelery Store for over 250,000 dollars. Than he was getting paid by Fennec mac and Fennec may while American people was losing there homes. If this Is what you Republican call a Good Christan ,than you much read a different Bible than most people do.

    December 4, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  5. Satberry

    The bar for a republican conservative candidate has become so low ,that you could run Satan for president against president Obama and they would vote for him.

    December 4, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. tulip

    Newt for real? This man took 1.6 million from Freddie for "consulting" I coughed when I wrote that. What is the payoff if that traitor is elected? Yes, I said traitor. He has sold out Americans for wealth and power.

    December 4, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. steven

    Romney would do better as a President then Gingrich, but Gingrich is not a Mormon and thus in the eyes of Christians Romney is not good for America.

    December 4, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. LMB123

    Wake up GOP – Don't shoot yourself on the foot. Vote for the ONE candidate who has a chance to beat Obama. – There is no question that, that's Romney. He is the only one with the experience and credibility to turn this economy around.

    December 4, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. JustDad

    In his House farewell address on September 19, 1984, Ron Paul said, "Special interests have replaced the concern that the Founders had for general welfare. Vote trading is seen as good politics. The errand-boy mentality is ordinary, the defender of liberty is seen as bizarre. It's difficult for one who loves true liberty and utterly detests the power of the state to come to Washington for a period of time and not leave a true cynic." Paul submitted his resignation letter addressed to Frank Fahrenkopf, then chairman of the Republican National Committee.

    The more I study Ron Paul, the more I see why he doesn't have the Republican Machine backing him, He speaks the truth, and is right onjust about every issue I find information on. Ron Paul is the only Washington Outsider in the race.

    December 4, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  10. EducatedVoter

    I am voting for Ron Paul. I'm tired of choosing the lesser of two evils. If Ron Paul does not win the nomination, I will write him in.

    December 4, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Name king

    I cannot believe the repugs are willing to nominate newt for president, are you serious. Newt said he's change and folks believe him. If this guys has changed at almost 70 years old it would have to be an act of god himself. Because for you to change into someone else at the end of your whole entire life, why now? Why not 20, 30 40, years ago when you had your whole entire life in front you, why now newt. Do you expect rational people to believe that you have changed into a new man just because you've said it. I remembered how you cried bloody hell with the Clinton Lewinski scandal while you was doing the same thing. I remembered you screaming at folks about fanny and Freddie when they had you in their back pocket. Newt your hyprocrocy knows no bound. Not because you know how to talk well and convince folks

    December 4, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    This all gets really boring as have been the endless so called debates especilly when those debates have 8 participants. It would be far better to have debates between tow candidates and cover the spectrum over several subjects over 2 hours.
    If you change opposing 2 person groups four times over you have if still unclear the chance to re-do 2 person groups four times over again. Simpler format and much clearer for viewers where they stand.
    you could then change groups again after Iowa and after New Hampshire.
    After each round i suspect poll would be much more meaningful.

    December 4, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. SlammoFandango

    Just admit it already...Paul is charging.

    December 4, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  14. JT

    It looks like the Tea Party's agenda of re-electing Obama is working.

    December 4, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  15. z

    wow the gop has lost it's mind...they really want obama to get win again...newt is unelectable...what a shame...

    December 4, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. Pat in il

    People's memory must be pretty bad. Newt was kicked out and continues to have ethics problems...both personally and politically. He is such an obvious liar and manipulator that I cannot imagine any foreign leader ever really trusting him.

    December 4, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  17. IronRider

    Gingrich is a Government Elite who has no respect for the current United States Constitution. He would be a third major strike for America if he is voted into office. Don't take my word for it. Do your own research before you endorse this man.

    December 4, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. Mike

    I cannot wait for Newt to debate that fool obama. Newt has even offered for nobama to keep his teleprompter but that will not do nobama any good. Newt will eat his lunch.

    December 4, 2011 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. Elucidated1

    Newt is the best.

    December 4, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. kiel moreau

    yeah of course the headline of this article dismisses Ron Paul being in second place bahahah a such a joke

    December 5, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  21. tamara reina

    Not up in south nomore ,well looks like we got ourself in the middle of a crisis of who he really wants to be. Well, will you be dropping from the race next cause Cain is out this week

    December 5, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  22. sidneyhop

    Ask non republican voters who they would support against Obama and Ron Paul wins across the board!

    Ron Paul is the ONLY one who can win against Obama!!!

    December 5, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  23. cgs

    Republicans/Evangelicals, don't be stupid. The swollen-headed, fast talking, immoral, pompous Newt cannot win independents. Romney is the only one who can defeat Obama. Those who are religious bigots or think Romney is boring are going to give the election to Obama. I'd much rather hear Romney's plain speak than someone who sounds like a phony televangelist like Obama (shudder) or a blowhole like Gingrich.

    December 5, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  24. Thinker

    What, an 8% sampling error?

    December 5, 2011 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  25. Kamikaze

    Even if I was to vote republican I sure wouldn't vote for one that wants to declare a national language. We are a country of tolerance. What's next a national religion?

    December 5, 2011 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
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