Poll: Tight race in Iowa
December 23rd, 2011
12:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Tight race in Iowa

(CNN) – As the Iowa caucuses near, the race between the top tier Republican presidential candidates remains as close as ever, according to a new poll.

The American Research Group survey of likely Republican caucus goers released Friday showed Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a statistical tie for the lead, garnering 21%, 20% and 19% respectively.

Although the disparity between the top three candidates falls within the margin of error, this was the first ARG poll in which Paul received the top spot.

A similar survey taken in the first-in-the-nation caucus state earlier in the month showed Gingrich, the former House speaker, with 22%, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, with 20% and Paul, the Texas congressman, with 17%.

In the latest poll, Texas Gov. Rick Perry came in at 9%, followed by Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota with 8%, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman with 6% and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania with 4%.

ARG surveyed 600 likely Iowa caucus goers between Dec. 19 and Dec. 22 with a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Polls
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. s

    Ron Paul needs serious mental health

    December 23, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Todd C

    Now that Paul is a front-runner, people are starting to pay attention. With that attention comes increased scrutiny of the infamous newsletters. Unfortunately for Ron Paul and all his current disavowals, in the mid-90s he admitted to knowing what was in them and even defended some of the comments.

    December 23, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. roadwarrior

    only an idiot would vote for obama and the democrates open your eyes people and look at the damage they have done to this county in the last four years this loser shall surely go down as the worst president in history

    December 23, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Paul supporters – Notice how the attacks on Paul emerged when he took over the top spot in Iowa? Does it sound like a Swift Boat tactic made famous by Karl Rove?

    December 23, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. made up my mind

    I want Gingrich to get the nomination because Obama would beat that loser!

    December 23, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Jason

    If you call Ron Paul in the lead, in first, winning, and already won Iowa "tight" ...

    December 23, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. roadwarrior

    huntsman for president merrychristmas

    December 23, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Larry

    doesn't matter what you all say – I've read all of these comments – they are both to blame – repub & dem – on different things. I am a registered Dem – but since I live in a "republican" state, I most likely will vote Dem – (straight ticket) But – I highly doubt if Obama will get re-elected again – He pulled a rabbit out of his hat, when he defeated McCain, and got elected. This time, If he gets Elected – he will have to be the 2nd person – (to have walked on this earth) in the last 2000 yrs) To Be Able To Walk on Water.

    December 23, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. Greg

    Wire Palladin- Did you actually read the insensitive remarks? I'm voting for Huntsman, so it's not an issue of defending my choice of candidate. I read the article in question, and while it was offensive, it wasn't the incendiary vitriol that people are portraying it as. There was a comment about black men being fast, and a crude remark about the LA riots ending when the welfare checks showed up. Both comments were crude, and Paul has disavowed them, and made it clear that he didn't authorize them. He has taken responsibility saying that it was a horrible lapse of judgement on his part to allow that to be published in a newsletter bearing his name, and I take him at his word on it. The media is portraying it as if he published a neo-nazi journal calling for a race war, when at worst he's guilty of allowing a poorly thought out racist joke to slip into a newsletter he had little control over. He's not my first choice for the GOP candidate, but I don't see the newsletter as a factor at all. People have overlooked far worse from lesser men, including Obama's relationship with Jeremiah Wright.

    December 23, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. roadwarrior

    roads and bridges were suppose to be built with the money from the first stimulus package what happen to that money stupid

    December 23, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Rich

    If you're not upset,you're not paying attention.RON PAUL 2012

    December 23, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    With this particular group of losers running, it will be interesting to see what the total number of voters showing up to vote percentage will end up at.

    December 23, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Pretty funny thing on today's posts: we have some rightwing trolls posting the same or very similar text under different names. Looks like the GOBP deathcult is getting scared and starting to pay trolls to post BS talking points and derail threads,

    December 23, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Greg wrote:

    DominicanMama- Considering that only Americans elect American Presidents, I'm not really too concerned with your opinion. The GOP isn't running against President Fernandez.
    Your ignorance is on display.
    The GOP isn't running against a President Fernandez, they are up against a Presdient Obama.

    December 23, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. @Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We provoked Osama after planting our military bases in the middle east. How would we like it if China placed military bases in the United States?

    December 23, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Four – When the president took over in 2009, the stock market had fallen from over 14,000 to under 8,000. While I was hurt badly, it is now over 12,000, and I have most of my republican losses back. Without any help from the republican party who created this mess, President Obama has created over 3 million jobs in the stimulus, save almost 2 million auto related jobs, stopped the Bush job loss of 8 million in Bush's last three years, gave hope to 50 million uninsured, stood up for the middle class, and ended the terrorist threat that Bush dropped the ball on. I am quite proud of our president.

    December 23, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Eric

    Ron Paul is the only one who truly wants to limit the cost and scope of government. He's got my support and none of the other democrats or republicans have a shot at it. Third party for sure if he's not in.

    December 23, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. roadwarrior

    i agree both parties are to blame and i hope your right about obama not getting re elected again i can tell you this from reading a lot of these posts theres a lot of stupid people out there that should study more of whats going on in the world instead of listening to the crap the media is saying

    December 23, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    "How have Obama's policies played out for the 160 million workers after 3 years? I know. Not so good, huh?"

    You really need to stop watching Fakes News. The economy is looking up. It would be looking even better if your GOBP deathcult of lunatics wasn't obstructing any and all efforts to address the situation.

    December 23, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Only an idiot would vote for Mittens. You think he cares about the 99%? My friend, you must think that corporations are people too.

    December 23, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    >roads and bridges were suppose to be built with the money from the first stimulus package what happen to that money stupid

    Yes, but Obama/Democrat union supporters need more money to send to his campaign fund. Your tax dollars at work!

    December 23, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Greg

    Rudy- Fernanadez is the President of The Dominican Republic, how does that display my ignorance? If My chosen screen name was Canadian Greg it would be perfectly fair to say my vote in the US election probably doesn't count. You could even say Harper isn't running against Obama if you wanted.

    December 23, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. travis

    Ron Paul has video recording history to defend himself against those who say he is anti-Israel or a racist. He was the only person in Congress who did not vote to condemn Israel when they bombed Iraq in the '80's. When he says he is pro-Israel he means it. Not like the neo-cons who are pro war, and want the ability to direct the Israeli military along with out own. He is the only candidate that wants to stop killing Muslims too, does that sound racist? Granted he believes the federal policies that single out blacks are racist and he doesn't support them, but obviously he is right. Federal support for one color of people over another is in fact racist. I personally can live affirmitive action type programs because I think it was right for America, but it is a racist policy. He also wants to end the drug war, which would save a whole lot of black folks (and whites, but per capita it will help blacks more) from jail time for non violent crimes. That would be a positive for everyone. Less people to pay for while they are in jail, less money spent on law enforcement, and more young men available to their community as potential taxpayers, and fathers.

    December 23, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. roadwarrior

    joe the plumber is a better candidate than obama what a loser huntsman for president down with socialists

    December 23, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. @Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Are we talking about the same guy who supported NDAA? The same guy who didn't repeal the Patriot Act? The same guy who waited three years to pull the troops out of Iraq while Americans got more of their limbs blown off? Our national debt has grown while Obama has been in office. Face it, he's just another Bush.

    December 23, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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