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Cain “Suspends” Campaign, Gingrich Support Continues to Advance

by | Dec 6, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-Life former Speaker Newt Gingrich

What makes politics so addictive to many is that you can spin out a dozen different scenarios based on a fragmentary change in the political calculus. How much more is this true when the alteration is huge, in this instance pro-life businessman Herman Cain for all practical purposes dropping out. (Technically he has “suspended” his campaign.) And by the time you read this it is possible that Cain will have thrown his support to one of the other candidates, widely expected to be pro-life former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

With the Iowa caucuses less than a month away, we’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest polls. If you can believe it, a little over a month ago a poll released by the Des Moines Register had Gingrich at 7% and Cain at 23%.

Two days ago a poll released by that same influential newspaper found Gingrich gathering 25% among likely attendees, to 18% for pro-life Congressman Ron Paul, and 16% for pro-life former Massachusetts Gove Mitt Romney. Cain had 8%. A NBC News/Marist College poll released Sunday had virtually identical numbers.

The failsafe for Gov. Romney is supposed to be New Hampshire. And the latest NBC News/Marist Poll found him still ahead of Gingrich, who obviously is on a tear.

The poll included likely Republican primary voters (including those who are undecided but leaning toward a candidate) found Romney with 39% and Gingrich at 23%. They were followed by 16% for Rep Paul, 9% for former Governor Jon Huntsman, 3% for Rep. Michele Bachmann, 3% for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 2% for Cain, and 1% for former Senator Rick Santorum.

The flipside for Romney is this represents a 6-point decline. For Gingrich it’s a 19-point gain. Huntsman has improved by four points.

“Romney is down, Cain has collapsed, and the undecided have dropped since October,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “In the meantime, Gingrich has emerged as a serious threat to Romney’s must-win, first-in-the-nation primary.”

POLITICO over the weekend spun out ways that Gingrich might be vulnerable in Iowa, including the unknown—how those favorable to Cain will divide their vote—as well as the known—Rep. Paul’s continued strong showing—and people’s responses to various positions Gingrich has taken, although he was not identified by name.

As we reported last week, Gingrich is well ahead in South Carolina and Florida.

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Categories: Politics