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. PHinMiami

    Is that the best the GOP can do, . . . Gingrich? A few months ago, even Newt would have thought it was a joke.

    December 5, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  2. don in albuquerque

    If this guy was thrown out of the Speakers position for 82 ethics violations, and fined over 300 (?) thousand bucks for ethics violations, how in the world does the GOP put him up as presidential material. Sounds more like striped uniform material.

    December 5, 2011 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  3. J. R.

    Do you want a guy who is trying hard to be sincere and honest with his beliefs and convictions. Willing to "take the heat" if it must be so in order to find the most logical, realistic, altruistic means to achieve positive changes for his country -regardless of his human failings and weaknesses, repenting and trying to change his life- with experience, intelligence, longevity and leadership skills? Or do you want a guy who pretends to be nice to your face but who's next move you cannot trust. Who wants so bad to win that he is willing to say anything, flip flop as needed, whatever it takes to get his own way. If he couldn't get it, his daddy gave it to him, all his life living a lie. Newt is not perfect and I don't agree with many of his ideas but I have to respect a man who tells it as he sees it win or lose. I detest insincere salesmen with cheesy smiles who think they can bully you with their pandering words. You are a pretender Mr. Romney.

    December 5, 2011 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  4. Alex

    Ron Paul!!! The most consistant and honest candidate in the race! The message of liberty can't be beaten, and you can't beat out the truth ether. A few weeks ago Ron Paul was virtually ignored, now is his time to rise just before the early states. Look into his message and you may be surprised that what he says actually makes sense and he consistent with his message unlike Romney and Gingrich who are notorious for their flip flopping.

    Ron Paul 2012!

    December 5, 2011 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  5. Dave

    Who's in second? Ron Paul.

    December 5, 2011 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  6. OrangeW3dge

    Well good for Newt. He really is the only one that could beat Obama in a fair fight. But, of course, they will pick Mitt because he's the only good-looking rich guy in the pack. Too bad though, this will not end well if they do.

    December 5, 2011 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  7. Terry

    Sadly, people in Iowa truly believe that they select the president of the United States. All Iowa brings to the table is a "Me First" button. Iowa will select Romney over Gingrich, just to show the media that Iowa Voters cannot be controlled by the media.

    December 5, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  8. the truth

    Romney and Gingrich equal more of the same old politics, so don't expect a different result. Dr. Paul however offers real changes with conviction. Exactly what this country needs right now. At some point we need to break this cycle of same old politics or we will see the colapse of the USA. $15 trillion in debt with $2M being added every minute. How do you think we can continue to spend and not bring this country down. Forget about the terrorist, we are doing a fine enough job of destroying this country by stepping all over the Constitution. Vote Ron Paul for REAL change.

    December 5, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  9. mary

    Anyone who has had 84 ethics violations leveled against him and was sanctioned by congress as a result should NEVER be allowed to be president of the United States–then there is his overall moral ineptitude and corrupt behavior.... But HEY! you republicans out there- go ahead and make Newt Gingrish the gop nominee..Those of us who support Obama would love it! Basically you really have no good canidates and you know it!

    December 5, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  10. Tylenol666

    Still way too early and even if he wins Iowa it aint even close to over,, just ask Huckabee about that,, besides even if he does win im moving to Equador at least its a jungle without suits there,, GO RON PAUL!

    December 5, 2011 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  11. GI Joe

    His name is not Newt - it's Slime.

    December 5, 2011 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  12. chaz8181

    The Republicans are indeed DESPERATE.

    December 5, 2011 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. Clwyd

    God save us from the remaining 7 republican loony tunes!

    December 5, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  14. SCAtheist

    It figure that Iowans would go for the guy that wants to extract poor kids from their families, put them in orphanages, and have them work in the fields.

    December 5, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  15. ConservaFASCISTS

    Willard better be nervous.

    December 5, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  16. manyote

    And yet between the two you can't come up with one.

    December 5, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. Obayashi

    Gingrich will be the nominee. Romney will lag behind.

    December 5, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  18. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The strange thing about this coming Republican season is NOBODY has broken the 40% mark yet. As a card-carrying Liberal Democrat it is my fondest hope that Gingrich, Santorum, Bachman or Perry wins the nomination. That will make a much stronger Obama ticket in November. Romney or Huntsman would be to close to call if either of them won the nod to run.

    December 5, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  19. Roy Moss

    Iowa is interesting. Seems like the Iowa Republicans go out and look for the craziest candidate running and pick them. First Bachmann now Newtie. Its good news for Democrats though. Now way Newtie makes it to the White House.

    December 5, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  20. sortakinda

    Yes. Gingrich lays claim to the sleazeball and the uninformed voters. If/when the uninformed voters really knew who Gingrich is, he hasn't a chnace, no matter how many times he sold his soul to the devil.

    December 5, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  21. Liz the First

    Boy, do the repugs love their hypocrites! the party of 'family values' is now in love with a guy who cheated on his wife while she was in a hospital bed. and wasn't he blasting Clinton for his dalliance with Monica while having a chippie of his own on the side? ew!

    December 5, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  22. da

    Man, If Newt becomes the Nominee it will just shows what a bunch of Hypocrites the GOP really is!!! I mean here you have a man that was hell bent on getting a former President impeached for lying about the same thing he was doing!! LOL

    December 5, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  23. jim

    The idea that Santorum is preferred over Huntsman in Iowa is ridiculous.

    December 5, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  24. Red State Utah

    EEEEEEK! I shudder at the notion that Callista Gingrich could possibly become First Lady of the United States.

    December 5, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. Hakeem

    Above all pres. Obama can do better than this!

    December 5, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
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