Gingrich tops 4th straight poll in Iowa
December 6th, 2011
04:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich tops 4th straight poll in Iowa

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich leads the pack of GOP presidential candidates in a fourth straight poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus goers.

Thirty-one percent of people questioned in a CBS News/New York Times survey say that the former House speaker is their choice for their party's nominee, with 17 percent supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 16% backing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. The poll's Tuesday afternoon release comes four weeks before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, which kick off the Republican presidential primary and caucus calendar.

The survey indicates that 11% support Texas Gov. Rick Perry, with 9% backing Rep. Michele Bachmann of neighboring Minnesota and 4% supporting former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Both Bachmann and Santorum have been crisscrossing Iowa the past couple of months.

The poll's results mirror an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Tuesday morning. According to that poll, 33% of likely Iowa GOP caucus goers say they back Gingrich, with Romney, who's making his second bid for the GOP nomination, and Paul, who's making his third run for the White House, each at 18%, Perry at 11%, Bachmann at 10%, and Santorum at 7%.

The survey indicates that Jon Huntsman's at 2%. The former Utah governor and ambassador to China has spent nearly all of his time campaigning in New Hampshire, which votes second after Iowa. Four percent are unsure who to support and six in ten say they could change their minds over the next four weeks.

Asked about the latest polls, Romney told reporters Tuesday in Arizona that "my expectation is that this is going to be a campaign that's going to go on for a while and I expect to win it."

Gingrich's campaign was left for dead by many in late spring, after a bunch of controversies which resulted in a number of top advisers and staffers quitting the campaign. They also faced financial difficulties. But thanks to strong performances in many of the Republican presidential debates this autumn, and thanks to stumbles by Bachmann, Perry and businessman Herman Cain, who suspended his campaign this past weekend, Gingrich has soared in both national polling and in surveys in the crucial early voting states.

The challenge for Gingrich now is to use his skyrocketing poll numbers and increase in fundraising to quickly build a larger and more effective campaign structure in the early voting states. Gingrich went up with his first campaign TV commercial Monday, in Iowa.

According to the ABC/Washington Post poll, Gingrich leads Romney by 27 points when it comes to experience, by 14 points on standing up for what he believes, by 13 points when it comes to reflecting the values of the GOP and by 10 points on understanding the problems of people like me. Gingrich holds a narrower five-point margin over Romney on electability and is basically tied with Romney on honesty.

The survey indicates that, at least in Iowa, the issue of illegal immigration may not hurt Gingrich, who has come under attack by some of his rivals for his calls for a pathway to legitimacy for some longtime illegal immigrants. By 19 points, Hawkeye State Republicans say Gingrich would do a better job on the issue over Romney, who has been critical of Gingrich over immigration. Only 15% say Gingrich's position on the issue is a reason to oppose him for the nomination, with nearly four in ten saying it's a reason to support him.

Separately, only 16% say Gingrich's marital history is a reason to not support him. Gingrich has been married three times and has admitted to extramarital affairs.

Meanwhile, the poll indicates the health care measure signed into law over five years ago by then-Massachusetts Gov. Romney, which includes an individual mandate and is considered by some Republicans as the model for President Barack Obama's national health care law, could be damaging. Forty-five percent of those questioned say the so-called "RomneyCare" law is a major reason to oppose Romney for the nomination.

The ABC News-Washington Post poll was conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 4, with 858 potential Iowa Republican caucus goers, including 356 likely GOP caucus goers, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus six percentage points for likely caucus goers.

The CBS News-New York Times poll was conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 5, with 642 Iowa registered voters who say they are definitely or probably attending the GOP caucuses questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Polls
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Paul is up to 16%? I cannot believe it.

    December 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Tired of the nonsense

    To paraphrase the immortal words of Professor Harold Hill -

    You've got trouble, my friends.
    Right here in River City.
    Trouble with a capital P that rhymes with G
    That stands for Gingrich.

    December 6, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Goptfascists Nationalists Party - radical "regressive" bigoted intolerant fanaticism screwing the USA

    the anybody-but-Romney candidate of the month is heading up....up.....up.......
    I wouldn't stand anywhere close to him as he will splat worse than any of the rest. All that foul puss released at one time – ugh!

    December 6, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Jariv

    Tied with Romney on Honesty. Seriously... you can't compare Romney's honesty which is the best of the GOP to the worst which is Gingrich. This is just unbelievable. To many naive people in the US and that is why it will fail in the not to distant future.

    December 6, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Larry L

    What I take from these polls is Republicans in Iowa care nothing about honesty and morality. Anybody with respect for those values could never vote for Gingrich – a man with a crystal clear record of dishonesty and unethical behavior.

    December 6, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    I only have one criteria when I go into the voting booth next November... anybody other than the socialist in the Whitehouse.

    December 6, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "What I take from these polls is Republicans in Iowa care nothing about honesty and morality. Anybody with respect for those values could never vote for Gingrich – a man with a crystal clear record of dishonesty and unethical behavior."

    Yeah but Obama's black....or hadn't you noticed? Birf surtifikate sekret mooslin soshulist!!!

    December 6, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. WhereIsPalin

    This just in..........Newt Gingrich drops 50% in new poll. Everyone else drops 75%. Gingrich is the undisputed leader of the GOP candidates.

    December 6, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. WhereIsPalin

    To: Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Socialist? You're stuck in 2008 my friend.

    December 6, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Shannon

    I think this lays to rest once and for all that the Republicans are the party of family values. They are embracing a serial adulterer who was removed from his speakership for being unethical, he's also been caught in to many lies to count. Come up with a new slogan, I think always the victim seems to fit this new Republican party really well.

    December 6, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. made up my mind

    i have not read anything positive in these comments about Newt Gingrich? Scary!!!! and how is he leading in the polls?

    December 6, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. vet in texas

    Conservatives will loose any remaining credibility if Gingrich is the nominee, as if you really had any credibility left with the rest of America.

    December 6, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I only have one criteria when I go into the voting booth next November... anybody other than the socialist in the Whitehouse."

    Best of luck with that vote of yours. You'll need it.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    December 6, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Paul is up to 16%? I cannot believe it.
    Believe it. The race has become a carnival merry-go-round. He's next in line. After that, the recycling begins.

    December 6, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. m

    Yep, gingRICH has a commanding lead with the Tea Party. So what! Those are the same idiots who fell for the Contract with America. Remember how that went folks. The one thing a politician can count on – the infinitesimal memory of the voter. gingRICH should be behind bars serving time.

    December 6, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. JAY G.

    I truly believe that people today are so naïve with these candidates, whether is Republicans or Democrats. No one can correct today's problems we are having throughout the world. It does not matter whether a president is black or white. It all depends on the individual. People today always believe it should be a white man in office, wake up and smell the coffee! If we were to have Jesus and the devil here today for president, I truly believe the people of this country will vote for the devil. As far as I believe Pres. Obama could do that so much after so much damage has been done, during the Republican eight years of hell.

    December 6, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Dixie AZ

    heard this earlier in other comments - "If Gingrich did nothing wrong when he was Leader of the House, why did he resign?" I think the question deserves an answer.

    December 6, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. JLR

    I offically don't understand republicans any more. Gingrich had 85 ethics violations, he was sanctioned as Speaker–the only time in the 208 year history of the House, he was ordered to pay a record $300,000 fine, and he was eventually kicked out of Congress by his own party. And the republicans are falling all over this man!

    December 6, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. diridi

    Romney sent jobs overseas, Newt unethical....o.k,, So Obby the Best...Obama2012.

    December 6, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Tennessee hunter

    Following the GOP candidates antics makes me wonder if the RNC really wants to regain the white house

    December 6, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Fed Up

    The man had to pay a three hundred thousand dollar fine for stealing money from the taxpayers. What is wrong with you people. If it's the lesser of 2 evils, it will be hard, but don't vote for Gingrich.

    December 6, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. normajean @ verizon ,com

    One doesn't have to look too far to get the true picture of Newt Gingrich. This why it is so hard for many of us to understand his following. This is a man who doesn't know the words "integrity", "honesty".honor" nor "decency" This is a man who would destroy what we have left of this great country because he wouldn't care about the people, only what he could do for himself and his destructive Republican cronies!!!! Wake up voters....this is your country too!!!!!

    December 6, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Houston

    Mr. Steinhauser – don't you understand ? The Democrats WANT Gingrich to take the Nomination, don't you get it ?? I am a Registered Democrat & I know a lot of Independents also – talked to a lot of them, all over this country – believe me . I would have VOTED for ROMNEY, if he got the nod, because I'd rather have somebody else – other than Obama !! I as a lot of dems & independents, don't much like his track record either, in the last 3 yrs !! BUT, believe me, IF they Put that lyin / double crossin "Newt" as their Nominee, I WILL VOTE FOR OBAMA. Just as a lot of us will.

    December 6, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. Larry L

    @Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    "I only have one criteria when I go into the voting booth next November... anybody other than the socialist in the Whitehouse."
    The Republican policies much more resemble a facist form of government – where the government is ruled by the rich and powerful elite class. Do you even know what socialism is? Can you name a single modern nation with a high standard of living that doesn't have strong government regulation to healthcare and a progressive tax code? Can you name one? No... Somalia doesn't count.

    December 6, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. Bobby

    Gingrich supports " The defense of Marriage Act". What a joke!!! Social Conservatives who would vote for this guy are hypocrites.. Ron Paul is the only honest one in this Bunch..

    December 6, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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