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. abdc1

    Honesty is a joke for a job in Washington ,look no further then what is running for the top job .The rug is covering up a lot of dirt yet.

    December 6, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. me

    democrats chastiziing anyone on ethis or adultry is the pot calling the kettle black. Slick Willie ring any adultrous bells? How about JFK?
    please! get off your high moral horses before you hurt yourselves

    December 6, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Iowans again prove that they cannot think for themselves. They attend town hall meetings and sit in their local cafes and coffee shops and believe what they are told, which is mostly lies and half-truths. They're so used to be lobbied for their votes that they make no effort whatsoever to actively research any of the candidates and find some independent information. They're also one of the least educated states in our union and few of them have ever traveled abroad and have a very small knowledge spectrum of world affairs beyond how their corn prices interact with the price of oil. It's so rural that they have no concept of the challenges and solutions facing the majority of our population, most of which is not rural. I think that it is unfortunate that Iowa occupies such a prominent position in the selection of our candidates for President. Our primary/caucus system needs an overhaul. The general election is held on one day, so should the primaries and caucuses.

    December 6, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. chaz8181

    Come on now...Newt is the epitome of a charismatic leader, both fat and bodacious , low moral standards , crooked, shrewd , cut throat , greedy, draft dodger, three wives, "religious", He will make a great prez.

    December 6, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. Iamnotfooled

    What does Gingrich stand for? What are his plans for this country? Do you agree with child labor? He was for the mandate before he was against it. (By the way the Healthcare Law is working and saving seniors money) How does he feel about Medicare & Social Security? or Medicaid? About the wars?

    December 6, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  6. Clwyd

    Are the farmers of Iowa that stupid as to support any of these right wing nut loony tunes running as republicans/? Idiots all of them and so are any of the people voting for them!

    December 7, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  7. jim

    Iowa has become far too enchanted with itself as the nation's "kingmaker".

    December 7, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  8. Reddog9500

    I've known for a long time that Republican voters are not interested in candidates who are moral and honest. That's why they elected a coke-using alcoholic who was a deserter during wartime for THEIR President twice. The fact that Gingrich is rising in their polls doesn't surprise me one bit. They would vote for Satan himself if he ran against Obama and overlook the fact that he's the Devil.

    December 7, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  9. mfhpr

    Gingrich is a pathological liar. And to boot, anyone that doesn't agree with him or calls him out on his lies is called every bad name in the book. Watch him closely in past and future interviews and debates. He doesn't wiggle his way out of past statements, rather he comfortably lies his way around them and talks badly about his opponent with no limits on what he'll say. I've never seen a more convincing liar. People claim he's the smartest guy around. His level of intelligence might be high, but he uses it to con his way through life. I would bet my life that his wife doesn't trust one ounce of him. Con men are usually very smart individuals that tell stories that go round and round and never have a true ending to them. An HONEST day's work he's probably not done in 30+yrs.

    December 7, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  10. Keith

    Gingrich's marital indiscretions pale in comparison to Slick Willy's and that didn't stop all the Lib/Progressives from defending his behavior while claiming that it didn't matter and that it wouldn't affect his ability to govern. Now, all of a sudden, the rules of engagement are different when it comes to a conservative Republican with similar baggage running for President.

    December 7, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  11. Joe Shmoe

    When making important policy decisions, Obama seems to make sure his are consistent with the Communist Manifesto. Ron Paul makes sure his are consistent with The Constitution. And Newt makes sure his are consistent with George Orwell's 1984.

    December 7, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  12. king

    hey all these folks that are middle class and keep selling their interest to the 1 percent. hope we dont have another wisconsin on our hand. i know some people have amnesia but i dont know where you guys were living at in 2008 but it wasn't america. trickle down just doesn't work

    December 7, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  13. Pat in IL

    I just don't get it. Gingrich was booted out for ethics issues before. He is an adulterer in the party of "family values"......who in the world is voting for this guy?

    December 7, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. Jersey3038

    I'll bet Newt wouldn't trust himself. Do these people know anything about him? Do they know all the slimmy things he's done??????

    I'm voting for either Ron Paul or Obama. It's your choice Repubs. Choose wisely. LOL...... The wisely part got me.

    December 7, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    the party of Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan is now a true thing of the past.

    December 7, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  16. cigarman

    Voting for Gingrich is like voting against everything that my Republican Party says that we are for. Voting for Gingrich means that my Republican Party now believes in Adultery, Unethical Behavior, Lying to Your Spouse, Taking as much money as you can while lobbying, cheating at every twist and turn, Having NO MORALS. I cannot believe that The Republicans have sunk to this new low. I have been in the world for a long time and have not ever seen a Republican that is as Corrupt as Gingrich come so far so fast. If this Liar and adulterer gets the Republican Nomination, a lot of Republicans will hold there noses and vote for Obama, Gingrich will not be the President of our Great United States.

    December 7, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. quinLee

    I would consider Romney being elected as President a disappointment. HOWEVER, a Gingrich presidency would be considered a true disaster, not in the way Obama haters like to describe him–but a true disaster. This guy is dishonest^10 and dangerous^100.

    December 7, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  18. ST

    Polling caucus goers will always give uncertain results. No one is 100% sure whether they will attend the caucus or not. This is just gauging only!

    December 7, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  19. Roger

    Please, folks, get over a man falling in and out of love. This country needs a man who has vision and a record of fixing the country. We need him. Your guy has arrested 5000 protesters and not one banker. Look at how Obama raised all his money–Bankers, health insurance companies, and Wall Street! Nearly 1 billion dollars. He talks a good game and has you all brain washed. Please keep an open mind and stay tuned.

    December 7, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  20. Independent Voters

    President Obama will beat Newt in a landslide.. I cant wait until Pelosi come out with the news about Newt corruption.

    December 7, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. AEK

    Funny how Mr. Gingrich is always referred to as the former Speaker of the House when in reality it should be former disgraced Speaker of the House. Sanitizing history, a Republican speciality!

    December 7, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  22. indyreader

    "I only have one criteria when I go into the voting booth next November... anybody other than the socialist in the Whitehouse."
    You are part of the problem. The problem being, that too few people actually think. Measure the issues and the candidates' positions on them.
    Republicans and Tea Partiers keep repeating that they want someone different from the establishment – and now they've settled (for a while, at least) on GINGRICH?!?!?! I don't trust him any farther than I can comfortably throw him (and I'm not exactly Schwarzeneggar, here), and I generally trust Republicans and Tea Partiers just about equally. But, here's the thing: I will consider the issues, weigh them in importance, closely examine all candidates' positions on them, and vote accordingly, regardless of which party any given candidate belongs to. Non-thinking, reactionary, "anybody-but-____" = fail.

    December 7, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  23. Terry

    I am still waiting for the Contract with America, signed by Gingrich in 1994. Since he has had almost twenty years to deliver on those promises, we should hear something by 2014 if he gets elected. The GOP has finally reached the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps the GOP should announce a call for new candidates.

    December 7, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  24. here we go again

    good news gor newt and great news for Obama.

    December 7, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  25. Susan

    I can see where Shannon is coming from. Newt is polling so well not because of who he is as a person or what he has done as a leader, but because of the perceptions that the media and groups like "anyone but Mitt" have unfairly created.. The spin around Romney is tremendous. Romney has held his ground through how many "flavor's of the month?" Time has run out and the choice is upon we vote for a true leader or for anyone that willl keep "Mitten's" our of Washington? If you vote for Newt then I would question your true concern for this nation and express my believe that you just don't want Romney to win due to your absolute certainty that what you have read and heard are true about the man. America's future is being ignored in the conversations swimming around Newt Gingrich. He is just the newest catch. Why has Romney beable to do so well for so long? Have you asked yourself that question. Why, if he is so "unfit" for office has he been able to do so well for so long? I think the man is a leader and a man of true character. Add to that he has a wife and companion that will only enhance the goodness.

    December 7, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
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