One Gingrich supporter steadfast despite polls
December 30th, 2011
04:37 PM ET
11 years ago

One Gingrich supporter steadfast despite polls

(CNN) - When business owner Brad Utter got a phone call two weeks ago asking him to host an event for Newt Gingrich, he immediately said yes and started recruiting people to attend the event the next Monday in Davenport.

At the time, Utter was leaning towards supporting Gingrich and is now planning on voting for him at Tuesday's caucuses.

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Utter, who is president of a security firm, was one of those won over because he believes Gingrich would be the strongest opponent to President Obama and the debate performances by the former House speaker.

He is, however, disappointed in Gingrich's decline in support.

"I'm there but disappointed at the polls. I know polls are finicky," he said on Friday. "At the back of my mind he is dropping quite a bit in the polls and that is unfortunate.

Like most Iowans he has seen the barrage of television ads aimed at Gingrich and his past, including ethical problems while he served in the House and the controversial $1.6 million consulting contract his firm had with the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Those issues don't bother Utter.

"It has had an impact. You can't spend millions of dollars and not have an impact," he said.

Utter was glad to just hear a radio ad from a political action committee in support of Gingrich.

"It is unfortunate that the Gingrich campaign doesn't have millions of dollars to counter those ads" that are attacking him, he said.

Also bombarding voters are an onslaught of mailers from all sides – both positive in extolling the virtues of a candidate and many others attacking.

"There is just so many of them. I wish I had the money they are spending on mailers," he said. His family is receiving at least 3-4 such mailers each day now.

Utter will be leading his precinct in Scott County in the eastern part of the state during Monday's caucus. As a precinct leader, he does not expect to speak on Gingrich's behalf since those officials usually don't stand up in support of a candidate.

In this campaign season Utter has met not only Gingrich but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – an opportunity that many in the state relish.

"I think it is awesome. It goes to show if you are involved you can meet every potential candidate," he said.

As to criticism that Iowa should not hold such an influential role in the selection of a presidential nominee because it is not representative of the country, Utter begs to differ saying the state has conservative values and that should be a key factor in the process.

"There always has to be a first," he said. "By the virtue of being first I think it thins the herd a little bit."

Utter, however, hasn't been without some controversy, as well as some embarrassment for his candidate, as the Altoona Herald reported on December 20th that his business - the site of the Gingrich event - had a tax lien for more than $30,000 against it (see story on the side rail of the link here) .

Utter responded, saying, "The matter with the taxes was an internal oversight which has since been corrected with the IRS."

–You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN

Also see:

Nearly half of Iowa ads attack Gingrich

In early book, Rep. Ron Paul criticized AIDS patients, minority rights and sexual harassment victims

Romney and Paul battle for top spot in new Iowa poll

DNC video asks 'What is Mitt Romney hiding' in tax returns

Top Bachmann aide out after flap over campaign switch

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I has to be hard to support Newt when the Kochs and Rove have swift boated him.

    December 30, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Jason

    One day soon, our reckless economic and military ignorance will be called an act of war. Who will come save us from ourselves? Will they say they are defending their strategic interests? What if they say they are protecting the freedoms of humanity and democracy?

    What if sound money and jobs are only possible when we aren't sending $5 billion out of this country every day?

    What if Christianity teaches peace and not preventative wars and aggression?

    What if we save ourselves?
    Ron Paul & Jon Huntsman 2012.

    December 30, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Forget the Kochs and Rove....

    All Newt Gringrich needs is to stay steadfast and he will surley win the majority People vote...Endorsers are worth just one vote....Let the others take just a vote here and there....Newt will have the People vote....!

    December 30, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    ginGRINCH should beat Romney on the mere fact that...

    One day Romney’s for it – the next day he’s ready to split
    Yesterday he says “I’m not” – Next week he takes cheap shots
    Tomorrow he’s NOT for health care – But it sound good yesteryear
    And this is the top of what the RIGHT got? – Hate to get tangled in that knot!!!

    But then again, all of the candidates from the Right are the same. They FAILED to separate themselves during the debate while they all chimed in on the same thoughts and thinking the SAME way..

    Hmm, by the way…

    I see some bloggers are trying to “cramp my style”
    It’s called FreeStylePolitics and I’m ahead of you by a mile!!

    Obama 2012!!!

    December 30, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well... I guess there goes the shut-out....

    December 30, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. cigarman

    This business man must be UTTER–LY STUPID.

    December 30, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. businessman

    Cigarman...I bet you win a lot of arguments with that kind of sound commentary and wit. I bet you think Obama’s doing a great job?

    December 30, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. MWM

    This is what happens when someone latches onto a particular belief(e.g. vaccines cause autism) then refuse to change when facts contradict that belief.

    December 30, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Keith in Austin

    Unfortunately for America, Gingrich has been severely wounded by relentless attacks from fellow GOP contenders, the Liberally-biased Media and of course, the DNC/Obama hate machine! If he fails to rebound, the biggest losers in the charade will be The People! Gingrich has forgotten more about all walks of Government than the current Bozo sitting in office ever dreamed of knowing! The problem in America is that so many people are too hate filled, living on the taxpayers or just plain too stupid to accept his ideology, creative solutions and vast knowledge in turning our Country around. I'm very sorry for that!

    December 30, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. willie floyd

    Back again Jason???

    December 30, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. junior

    Go Newt 2012. He is the Steve Jobs of the Republican party. His charisma, verbal skills and imagination will shine through again in upcoming debates. I love the fact that the lame Republican establishment hates him; it will be fun to see them faint or disapear. Obama will not be able to claim he is part of the 1% because he is a politician, so it will be a scramble for the dems to come up with material; forcing them to throw away the Romney book…totally worth it. His debates with Obama will be classics like the Ali vs. Frazier fights.

    December 30, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |