Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingrich Loses Ground in Tight Iowa Race

Jonathan Easley
December 12, 2011

GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich still leads the Republican field in Iowa, but Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are back within striking distance, according to an American Research Group poll released on Monday.

Gingrich took 22 percent of the support from likely Iowa caucus-goers, which is a 5-point drop from the previous poll. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul both came in at 17 percent, followed by Rick Perry at 13 percent, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum at 7 percent, and Jon Huntsman at 5 percent.

According to an NBC News-Marist poll released on Monday, Gingrich also maintained leads in South Carolina, where he’s up on Romney by 6 points, and Florida, where he’s up by 13 points.

New Hampshire is the only one of the first four primary or caucus states where Gingrich isn’t ahead in the polls. Romney leads the field in New Hampshire, which neighbors his home state of Massachusetts.

The ARG poll was conducted Dec. 8-11 and at least partially reflects Saturday’s Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. The Republican candidates went after Gingrich hard at the debate, criticizing him as a lifelong politician and for his multiple marriages.

The Iowa caucuses take place Jan. 3.

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