Three new polls released this weekend show Newt Gingrich is surging, but these polls, conducted a month before the first nominating contests are to begin, are in no way even a definitive snapshot. Exhibit A: These polls were conducted before Herman Cain officially suspended his campaign on Saturday and withdrew from the presidential contest.
According to a poll conducted by the Des Moines Register, Gingrich is in first with 25 percent, followed by Ron Paul, who most likely has the best organization on the ground in Iowa, with 18 percent. Mitt Romney has 16 percent, Bachmann has 8 percent, Cain, who dropped out of the race on Saturday, polled at 8 percent. Rick Santorum and Rick Perry each polled at 6 percent.
Gingrich was also the second choice of 18 percent of those surveyed, showing that Gingrich has a chance to expand his coalition of voters as he tries to build an organization on the fly in the Hawkeye State. On the other hand, Paul, who has a fervent and devoted base of supporters and organizers, is the second choice of only 7 percent of those surveyed, which shows that he has a lower ceiling than some of the other candidates in Iowa.
In New Hampshire, a Marist/NBC poll had Romney in the lead with 39 percent, Gingrich with 23 percent, Paul with 16 percent, Huntsman with 9 percent, Bachmann and Perry with 3 percent each, Cain with 2 percent, and Santorum with one percent.
In the Marist poll, Romney and Gingrich got the support of 33 percent of Republicans who “support the Tea Party.” Among those who “strongly back the Tea Party,” according to the poll, Gingrich led Romney, 41 percent to 19 percent. Further, Gingrich leads Romney, 36 percent to 29 percent, among “likely Republican primary voters who are very conservative.”
And confirming the the Des Moines Register’s Iowa poll, a Marist poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers had Gingrich in lead with 26 percent, Romney with 18 percent, Paul with 17 percent, Cain with 9 percent, Perry with 9 percent, Bachmann with 5 percent, and Santorum with 5 percent.
According to the Marist poll, Gingrich benefits from Cain’s dropping out, as most of Cain’s supporters preferred Gingrich as their second choice. Further, Gingrich leads Romney, 34 percent to 20 percent, among “likely Republican caucus-goers who are conservative, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.” Gingrich leads Romney, 29 percent to 10 percent, among those who “support the Tea Party.” Further, Gingrich leads Romney, 35 percent to 11 percent, among those who identify themselves as “Tea Party supporters, conservative, and Evangelical Christians.”
Hoping to seize on this momentum, Gingrich will meet with Donald Trump today and sources have told FOX 5 in Atlanta, Georgia that Herman Cain will endorse Gingrich.
His campaign will also debut a television advertisement in Iowa that reinforces Gingrich’s embrace of American exceptionalism that is largely responsible for his rise in the polls and has kept him immune from some of his more moderate positions, sweeping statements, and personal baggage in a cycle in which many GOP primary voters feel they don’t have a perfect candidate to vote for.
In the advertisement, Gingrich says that some people say “the America we know and love is a thing of the past … I don’t believe that.”
The ad, reminiscent of Reagan’s “Morning in America” ad, is optimistic and reinforces his campaign’s message of returning and restoring a strong, Reaganesque America.
The ad can be seen here: