Human Events Blog

CNN Poll: Gingrich Fades, Santorum Surges in Iowa

 

A new CNN poll, conducted among likely voters from December 21-24, puts the Iowa race as follows:

Mitt Romney 25%

Ron Paul 22%

Rick Santorum 16%

Newt Gingrich 14%

Rick Perry 11%

Michele Bachmann 9%

Jon Huntsman 1%

That’s a hefty gain of 5% each for Romney and Paul since the beginning of December, plus a huge 11-point jump for Rick Santorum, while Newt Gingrich fell 19 points during the same period.  A large number of Iowa voters – nearly half of respondents, according to CNN’s polling director – remain undecided.

“Most of Santorum’s gains have come among likely caucus participants who are born-again or evangelical, and he now tops the list among that crucial voting bloc, with support from 22% of born-agains compared to 18% for Paul, 16% for Romney, and 14% for Gingrich,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The survey suggests that turnout on January 3 could be crucial in determining who comes out on top in the caucuses.

“Santorum and Paul may benefit from lower turnout, since they have an edge over Romney among likely voters who say that ‘nothing at all’ would prevent them from attending the caucus,” says Holland. “On the other hand, Romney appears to have an edge among those who attended the caucuses four years ago – he did finish in second place in 2008 – and Romney does best among older Iowans.”

Besides taking a huge amount of negative advertising fire from the other candidates in Iowa, Gingrich might have run out of debates just a little bit too early.  His campaign was strongly premised on his debating skills, and he was doing an awful lot better when he had frequent opportunities to show them off.  Campaign-trail sound bites don’t seem to be serving him as well, at least not in Iowa.  If CNN’s numbers hold up, a close fourth-place finish wouldn’t be the end of him, but fifth place would be uncomfortable.

 


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