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Three More Polls Show Continued Gingrich Surge

by | Nov 22, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Newt Gingrich

When you are on a roll, you are on a roll. Three more polls released today—two in the morning, one in the afternoon– show former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich continuing his ascension from an afterthought among Republican primary voters to first place or a virtual tie for the lead.

USA Today/Gallup polled 1,062 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by phone and found Gingrich one point behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted its survey online and determined that Gingrich was two points ahead of Romney.

Later in the day a CNN/ORC International Poll found that “24% of Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP say they are most likely to support Gingrich for their party’s nomination, with 20% saying they back Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is making his second bid for the presidency.”

CNN/ORC found a massive advantage for Gingrich on national security: he was “the choice of 36% of those polled on that question — 16 points ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and nearly triple the percentage of those choosing GOP rivals Rick Perry or Herman Cain.”

On the other hand, Romney was seen as more likely (40%) than Gingrich (20%)  to defeat pro-abortion President Barack Obama. But a month ago, when asked that same question, 41% said Romney to 5% for Gingrich.

In addition a whopping 2/3rds said they might change their minds!

Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones began his analysis by writing

“Republicans are most likely to name Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as their first choice for their party’s 2012 presidential nomination, with Herman Cain close behind. Among all Republicans nationwide, Romney is the choice of 20% and Gingrich 19%. Among Republican registered voters, Gingrich is at 22% and Romney at 21%.”

Cain was at 16%, Congressman Ron Paul at 10%, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 8%.

The difference between the current results (November 13-17) and two weeks prior? Gingrich’s support has jumped 7%–from 12% to 19% among all Republicans. He was at 4% in August.

“Overall, Gingrich has a slight edge over Romney and Cain among conservatives [23% to 20%] while Romney has a wider margin over the others among moderates and liberals [over Gingrich 20% to 12%],” Jones reported.

In the “Implications” section, Jones argued that traditionally Republicans have a “dominate front-runner” well before the Iowa caucuses (six weeks from now). But “there is no clear national front-runner for the Republican nomination,” he wrote. “Romney remains at the top of the list, along with Gingrich, whose campaign has mounted a comeback in recent weeks, and Cain. Gingrich’s rise coincides with the recent declines of Perry and, to a lesser extent, Cain.”

His conclusion? “Thus, the current contest stands to be the most competitive and perhaps most unpredictable for the Republican nomination since 1972, when the parties shifted the power to choose their presidential nominees away from party leaders at the national convention to the rank-and-file voters in state primaries and caucuses.”The results for The Reuters/Ipsos poll found Gingrich in the lead with 24% compared to Romney with 22%. Cain was again third (with 12% ) while Texas Gov. Rick Perry was fourth at 10%.

“We have absolutely seen Gingrich surge,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark, noting that the former House leader from the 1990s was a more established political figure than some of his Republican counterparts who have slipped in the polls.“

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Categories: Politics