Romney's lead shrinking in new national poll
January 20th, 2012
03:06 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney's lead shrinking in new national poll

(CNN) - A new national survey released Friday indicates Mitt Romney's lead over the remaining Republican presidential candidates is shrinking.

The former Massachusetts governor now has a 10-point lead over Newt Gingrich, a margin down 13 points from Monday.

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According to the latest results from Gallup's Daily tracking poll, conducted Sunday through Thursday, 30% of registered Republicans said they would back Romney, whereas 37% said the same earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich showed a mild surge during the week, jumping from 14% on Monday to 20% on Friday.

The poll was conducted almost entirely before the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate Thursday night.

The poll's fluctuation showed the margin between Romney and Gingrich narrowing from 23 points at the beginning of the week to 10 points on Friday, just one day before South Carolina's primary.

The latest survey was also conducted almost entirely before Gingrich's ex-wife took part in a controversial interview that aired on ABC News Thursday night

While the poll showed the race tightening between Romney and Gingrich, it indicated Rick Santorum staying relatively steady, losing only one percentage point from 14% to 13% over the course of the week.

Rick Perry, meanwhile, made mild gains from 5% to 8%, though the poll was conducted mostly before the Texas governor suspended his campaign Thursday. Texas Rep. Ron Paul saw his numbers rise slightly from 12% to 13%.

Gallup surveyed 1,235 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by telephone Jan. 15-19, with a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Also see:

Perry drops out, endorses Gingrich

Judge-drawn Texas redistricting map tossed out by Supreme Court

Gingrich releases 2010 federal tax records

Santorum tries to shoulder past Romney, Gingrich in debate

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Polls
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    I guess even some members of the GOP find offshore accounts in bad taste.

    January 20, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens is the chosen one. He just needs to spend more on attack ads, and he will be fine.

    January 20, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Not to worry -- Newtie's little grade-school hissy-fit was seen around the world last night.

    Want a reason to blame the rest of the world for hating us? Look at Newt - Listen to Newt - check Newt's ethics (lack of), his loose-cannon temperament.

    January 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Yeah, so what? He's still leading by a decent amount. He does need to become more aggressive towards Newt though. Newt is playing for keeps and Romney better take the gloves off and deal with it. I just hope is is not too nice a guy to do it. He needs to start practicing for Obama and the lefties. They will be totally vile and uber aggressive. He needs to show he can deal with it effectively.

    January 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Gov. Romney, meet your Waterloo. It's an old friend, one of your best friends, your own tax returns.

    January 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Better Romney leave South Carolina today start campaign in Florida tomorrow

    If Newt win tomorrow I bet Sarah Palin and Rick Perry will campaign for Newt because both want to settle some due with GOP establishment

    January 20, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Jamie from Riverside

    Is it only his poll nos. that are suffering from shrinkage?
    Makes me think of George Costanza

    January 20, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Almost everything about this flaccid field of clown car candidates can be described as shrinking, except for their overblown elitist egos.

    January 20, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I find it amusing that everyone is talking about South Carolina being the "end game" for the Republican Nomination. Folks, we have a couple of months worth of primaries yet. Yes, those who come in the first couple of places do have the advantage of further fundraising capabilities (witness what actually happened to Perry and Bachmann – no new money coming in for their ego campaigns). But still, there should be the messages heard. John Huntsman, who was probably THE most qualified person to seek the nomination, had to drop out because the voters kept viewing him as Mitt-Lite. But the opposite was true. He was more successful as a Governor than Romney or Perry, had the best grasp of foreign policy (as opposed to an unnamed Isolationist-Reactionary still in the race) of any of the candidates, and was capable of working across party lines to get stuff done. Unfortunately for him, in this, the Tea-Party Age of Republicanism, compromise and bipartisanship are dirty words that should never come out of the mouth of a Republican Candidate (but should be demanded of any Democrat).
    So as the Republican Campaign for President slooowly sinks into the South where the continued infighting between the remaining four candidates wages on, President Obama continues to govern and do what he can despite opposition from the Republicans in the House and Senate who have painted themselves into a corner thanks to the efforts of Rep. Bachmann, Sen. DeMint, and Grover Norquist.

    January 20, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. westward

    Nobody LIKES you, Mutt. Especially the middle class, women, and seniors.

    January 20, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    This is GREAT news for me personally and a GREAT way to start off the weekend.

    Obama 2012

    January 20, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. romney...UPS HIS ATTACKS...!

    YES, YES SHRINKING AND SINKING...WHY..? romney did not proof to have the Leadership .X-factor either in Politics nor in Business..Hiding from being transparent ..."Show your tax-returns now...April is too late......Attacking Newt won't up your ante....!

    January 20, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Independent Voters

    These republican candidates is turning alot of people away from there party.
    Newt & Romney are acting like kindergarden kids.
    Vote for OBama/Biden for better future.

    January 20, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Jesus Tebow

    Wasn't there a 4th guy?

    January 20, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Thomas

    He's not at all like his Father.

    Five sons who avoided volunteering for military service.

    Not my kind of leader.

    January 20, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Food Stamp Economy

    Gingrich, Romney – who cares? They're all selling the usual Republican snake oil. As far as I can tell, all of the Republican campaigns (except possibly Paul's) are based on one BIG lie – that the Bush recession and its after-effects are President Obama's doing. This is the lie Gingrich is selling when he calls Obama a "food stamp president". This is the lie Santorum is selling when he talks of "the economic squalor President Obama has visited on the American economy". This is the lie Romney is selling when he claims as he constantly does that Obama made the recession worse. Romney's lie is particularly absurd because it blatantly contradicts the facts (job losses were at their most severe (820,000) in January 2009, the month Obama took office! In the last 2 years the economy has added back about 2.7 million jobs; GDP has grown for 9 quarters straight after shrinking by about 9% the quarter before Obama took office; corporate profits are back to pre-recession levels; the Dow has added 4000 points since Obama took over; etc). This whole Republican strategy of blaming the Bush recession on Obama and denying the OBSERVABLE FACT THAT THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN RECOVERING FOR YEARS stinks to high heaven. It's not something you'd have to resort to if you actually had a legitimate argument.

    January 20, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. westward

    @Joe – SC is not the endgame – true. But it bodes with how the rest of the evangelical southern states will be voting. The fact is – within the self-termed "evangelical" community there – they do not take to outsiders that are not within the same general religious club they have created for themselves. I've lived in the south all my life, and though I don't condone this behavior at all, that is how these people are.

    January 20, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Unlike atom bombs or the game of Horseshoes, it does not matter how close it is. It only matters who wins. And Mitt Romney will win the nomination and then he will win the General Election in November. And America will begin the real recovery.

    January 20, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Taylor

    Hey CNN how about mentioning Ron Pauls lead over Santorum, or the fact that he is neck and neck in your own poll with Romney? Refusing to cover Ron Paul will not make him go away.

    January 20, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Kk

    I wonder why Gingrich only post 2010 tax not multiple years taxs?

    January 20, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    Food Stamp Economy
    ...As far as I can tell, all of the Republican campaigns (except possibly Paul's) are based on one BIG lie – that the Bush recession and its after-effects are President Obama's doing...
    Obama gladly accepted responsibility for the recovery when he spent %5 trillion trying to buy it back to life. President Obama is the Captain Schettino of economics. Thank goodness it's 2012!

    January 20, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    Unlike atom bombs or the game of Horseshoes, it does not matter how close it is. It only matters who wins.
    According to the rules established at the 2008 Republican National Convention, all primaries conducted prior to March 1 will have their delegates distributed by a proprotional system. Winner takes all was not supposed to kick in until the primaries conducted in March. States moving their primaries ahead of Feb. 1, which meant ahead of the traditional early contests, were supposed to have half of their state's delegates forfeited.

    That was then. It was repeated in 2011 over the spring, summer and fall. Let's see if Priebus enforces party rules , especially with Florida. I doubt it.

    January 20, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Want just a sample of what the republicans did to this country in 2006:
    A joint venture between two American companies, American Bridge and Fluor Enterprises, won the prime contract for the project in early 2006. Their bid specified getting much of the fabricated steel from overseas, to save money.

    California decided not to apply for federal funding for the project because the “Buy America” provisos would probably have required purchasing more expensive steel and fabrication from United States manufacturers.

    January 20, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Southern evangelicals seem to be a "cult-like" group -- much the same as mormons, jihadists, and all the other radicals in this world.

    Haters will hate - that's what they do. What a waste of human life. So much negativity and hate.

    January 20, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Kk

    Mitt Romney will win the nomination and will win the General Election! We don't need someone from whitehouse like Gingrich who only can debate (talk) but cannot lead this nation as a true leader.

    January 20, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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