With 3 weeks until caucuses, Gingrich remains on top in Iowa polls
December 12th, 2011
12:14 PM ET
11 years ago

With 3 weeks until caucuses, Gingrich remains on top in Iowa polls

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Two new surveys, but the same poll position for the GOP presidential candidates in Iowa, the state which holds the first contest in the primary and caucus calendar.

According to an American Research Group, 22% of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa say they support former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for their party's presidential nomination, with 17% saying they back former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 17% supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

The survey indicates Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 13% support, with Rep. Michele Bachmann of neighboring Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, each at 7%. Bachmann and Santorum have been criss crossing the Hawkeye State.

The survey, released Monday with just over three weeks to go until Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses, also indicates former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 5%. Huntsman has been spending almost all of his time campaigning in New Hampshire, which holds its primary one week after Iowa.

Twelve percent questioned say they are undecided. The poll was conducted Dec. 8-11, after businessman Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign and before and after Saturday night's GOP debate in Iowa.

Perry has jumped eight points from ARG's November survey, when he was at 5% support. Gingrich was at 27% in ARG's November poll, with Romney at 20% and Paul at 16%.

The survey was one of two released Monday.

According to a University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll, 30% of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa say they support Gingrich for their party's presidential nomination, with 20% saying they back Romney and 11% supporting Paul.

The survey indicates that 9% say they support Bachmann, with 8% backing Perry, 5% supporting Santorum and Huntsman at 1%. Around 4% had said they were backing Cain, who suspended his campaign while the poll was being conducted.

A CNN/Time/ORC International poll released last week indicated Gingrich with a 13-point lead over Romney among likely caucus goers.

According to the University of Iowa survey, Gingrich's margin over Romney is smaller among "very likely" caucus goers, but larger among those "somewhat likely" to attend the caucuses.

"Gingrich faces at least two obstacles according to our data," says Fred Boehmke of the University of Iowa. "His run at the top may be starting to tail off as it has for previous front-runners. He also faces the challenge of turning out his supporters on caucus night, which will be critical since the gap between him and Romney is narrower among 'very likely' GOP caucusers and 'strong' Republicans."

The poll indicates that Gingrich's support is more than double Romney's among those who say they're backers of the tea party movement.

"Gingrich has become the tea party candidate in this race, and this bodes well for him," says the University of Iowa's Caroline Tolbert says. "Turnout of Tea Party supporters on caucus night could be key to his success in the state."

The American Research Group poll was conducted by telephone, with 600 likely Iowa GOP caucus goers questioned. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

The Hawkeye Poll was conducted by the University of Iowa from Nov. 30 to Dec.7, before Saturday's debate in the Hawkeye state, with 277 likely Iowa Republican caucus goers questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus six percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Polls
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. nathan

    "Polling out this morning shows Obama opening up leads in FL, OH, VA and NC if Newt is the nominee." Go Newt go!

    December 12, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS, just as a little FYI: I was a Republican and a historian with advanced degrees who switched parties after it became obvious to me that the GOP is more interested in ideology than in solving problems. Newt cherry-picks history to suit his ends and his ideology. I rarely have encountered anyone who abused his professional training and distorted truth to enrich himself more than Newt. There are plenty of good conservative historians who can provide good, well researched and well written books on American history and contemporary topics without stooping to the needless invective that newt engages in. His own contemporaries have almost all branded him as useless and undisciplined as a leader: how and you ignore what they have to say in favor of the worthless comments and outright lies he tosses out?

    December 12, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Anon2

    the word "Caucus" always reminds me of Dukakis.

    December 12, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. it is sad

    And since it is a caucus and not a vote of all the people, we will see Ron Paul being chosen as the winner... He is just more organized that way. It won't mean anything.

    December 12, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Hark

    I love hearing you Obama supporters crowing that you don't understand how Newt Gingrich is leading the GOP pack but you hope he wins the nomination . Be careful what you wish for as you will understand soon enough and it will suck the wind out of your sails. Give 'em hell Newt. LOL all the way to the inaguration!

    December 12, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Socrates

    The US people have tried so many presidents maybe a racist crazy one like these one will be more colorful, not better. One thing for sure, it will be great for Letterman, Leno and Stewart. These three comedians will have the time of their lives with a clown like this one as president.

    December 12, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Cindy

    hahahahahahahahahaha Go, Newt, go!

    December 12, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Romney Un-Electible

    No surprise here. Newt will defeat Obama and America will get back to be prosperous once again.

    December 12, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Muchoki wrote:

    Alright all you Newt bashers... look at his record while in Washington. Ended Welfare as we knew it. Worked WITH Clinton to balance the budget. Millions of jobs. He's the only candidate with creative, big ideas. The same "bomb thrower" nonsense was tossed around with Regan. It's time for someone to lead bodly... and not by consensus.
    Look at his record? Gooood. Goooood.

    Gingrich tried to end Welfare. Clinton proposed the system of working for welfare. Gingrich worked against Clinton to balance the budget. He shut governemnt down. Twice. Remember?

    Why do you give credit to a Republican House Speaker for job creation, but blame a Democratic President for slow jobs growth? Did I mentioned that he was investigated by a House Ethics committee of some 85 ethics violations? He was protected from most of those charges because Republicans controlled the committee, but they still fined him for a tax violation and voted him out of the Speakership.

    December 12, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Smelly

    What's that smell? It is Newt Gingrich cheating on his dying wife, flip flopping on climate change and global health care, collecting $100 million as a lobbyist, doing away with child labor laws, and even changing his religion to get votes. Give me a break. This guy stinks.

    December 12, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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