Poll: Paul in top spot in Iowa GOP battle
December 21st, 2011
09:17 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Paul in top spot in Iowa GOP battle

(CNN) - With 13 days to go until the Iowa caucuses, a new poll indicates that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas sits atop the field of Republican presidential candidates in the state that holds the first contest in the primary and caucus calendar.

According to an Iowa State/Gazette/KCRG survey released Wednesday, 28% of likely Iowa GOP caucus goers say Paul, the longtime congressman who's making his third bid for the White House, is their first choice for the Republican nomination, with 25% backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Paul's three point margin over Gingrich is well within the survey's sampling error.

Eighteen percent of those questioned say they support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's making his second run for the White House, with 11% backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Seven percent say Rep. Michele Bachmann of neighboring Minnesota is their first choice for the GOP nomination, with 5% backing former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, less than one percent supporting former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, with 5% undecided.

The poll was conducted over a long period of time, starting on Dec. 8 and ending on Dec. 18. The survey indicates that with the caucus closing in, the battle for Iowa remains fluid, with only 28% saying they've definitely decided on which candidate they would support.

But the survey suggests that when it comes to the commitment of support, Paul may have an advantage.

"What our poll says is that 51% of Paul's supporters say they're definitely backing him," said James McCormick, professor and chair of political science at Iowa State and coordinator of the poll. "The percentage for the next two candidates is much weaker, at 16.1 for Mitt Romney and 15.2 for Newt Gingrich."

The Iowa State/Gazette/KCRG poll was conducted by telephone, with 333 likely Iowa GOP caucus goers questioned. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus five percentage points.

Also see:

Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says

Romney defends negative ads

Gingrich: Super PAC hypocrisy

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Polls • Ron Paul
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Phil in KC

    Wow. Really? Who knew there were that many nutcases in Iowa? I grew up there and don't remember it being like that. Must be a bunch of 'imports'.

    December 21, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Anybody but Mitt, ...yet again?!?

    December 21, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. ST

    Oh! dear, Ron Paul is going to fly away with this one! It is starting to be quite interesting. Romney can have money, organisation but it looks like people are not swayed. I will not be surprised Romney to lose it for the second time. History always repeats itself.

    December 21, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. diridi

    This dude is a communist ideology dude...scares me, what is his stand on health care. Can he tell me? He sounds pretty good, but does it work? I do not know.

    December 21, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. Donny Rumsfeld

    Awesomeness! now we just need those establishment fear mongers to die off. One state at a time. What a statesman!

    December 21, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Karlo

    Our country faces a very defining moment. People in Washington D.C. don't understand the damage they have caused to the majority of the people in this country. There's no one else in the race that deserves our trust to be the voice of the people. Ron Paul 2012. Live Free.

    December 21, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The ABM (anyone but Mittens) republicans, 75% of republican voters, are not happy with the candidate that the Kochs and Rove have chosen as their anointed one.

    December 21, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Seattle Sue

    I still don't think Ron Paul will ever be President. Already racist comments he made 20 years ago are starting to come up. I'm sorry folks but Paul is just too dinging for me.

    December 21, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. kiel moreau

    wooowww!! mainstream media finally aknowledging this after 3 days???

    December 21, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. jim dollinger

    I predict he wins Iowa by a minimum of ten points.

    December 21, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    Thank God, CNN, now maybe those 3 paid Paul trolls will stop spamming the thread with how he is winning all the polls and CNN is ignoring it.

    December 21, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. Mark Arby

    Finally, people are waking up! Paul is the only candidate who will actually shrink government and start to extricate us from the foreign policy quagmire we've gotten ourselves into as the "world's policeman." The fundamentalist Christians who have highjacked the republican party don't like him because he'll stop sending billions to Israel. Israel can take care of herself. Those billions come with a leash to prevent Israel from attacking our many "friends" in the Arab world. Israel will be better off without our "help" and we'll be better off taking care of our own people.

    December 21, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Keith in Austin

    Although Ron Paul's ambition to minimize the size of Government and CUT 1 Trillion dollars in wasteful spending is very attractive to Conservatives, his misguided Foreign Policy beliefs will disallow him from ever being President.

    December 21, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |

    Be afraid Newt, Willard and the GOP establishment. Ron Paul is running a better campaign than he did last time around.

    December 21, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Kelli

    The establishment is going to have to realize that the people are waking up. Ron Paul will win Iowa. And New Hampshire. And Georgia and Florida and 46 other states because THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA are done with being hosed by their government! The revolution has begun. You cannot stop freedom.

    December 21, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. A Texan

    Goes to show you just how strong the Republican slate is.......................

    December 21, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Good for him. Bad for the rest us. And Cinderella story to continues, as the conservative base gives Dr. Paul a fitting session with the glass slippers. They ain't gonna fit him, either.

    The Republican Party has been lacking in leadership, focus and direction for over a decade now. The politicians are puppets being led by puppet masters, who seem to have grown overconfident and gotten careless. The masters seem to have forgotten all about having a mouthpiece, a figure head, to entrance the masses. Once they lost the White House in 2008, the Republican Party lost its' "leader".

    December 21, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. realitybites

    Do you think he'll surge once Gingrich ends up in the flavor of the month dumpster? I wonder how long he'll sit on display before he ends up in the trash too?

    December 21, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. EatRunDive

    Ron Paul and the Tea Party aren't Republicans. They are Libertarians without enough backbone to admit that they are Libertarians. The sad part is that if they actually ran and voted Libertarian they would make a significant difference in our political process, which currently sucks.

    December 21, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Liberty4all

    Go Ron Paul! The only Candidate Willing to speak the truth!

    December 21, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. Eric

    Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it. We did laissez faire ecomics and isolationism in the early 20th century, both were disasters. Come on GOP, wake up.

    December 21, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. TheTraveler

    Practically every GOP presidential hopeful has been at the top of the Iowa polls at one time or another is year. So now it's Paul's turn in the limelight for the next week or two.


    December 21, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Sean

    I'm starting to come around to Paul's way of thinking, but I can't help think that CNN would run this just to bolster support for a candidate who they think can't beat Obama....

    December 21, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Jake

    Great, now maybe the Ron Paul supporters can stop crying that the polls are against Paul

    December 21, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. A Paul-ing

    Message to Wacko Iowa republicans – You finally got it "right."

    As a democrat who voted for Obama, I'd vote for Ron Paul because he'll get us out of Afghanistan.

    December 21, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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