Gingrich bounces to top of Reuters/Ipsos, Gallup polls

posted at 10:35 am on November 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Another month, another bubble in the Republican presidential race — or is it more than that?  In a pattern we have seen repeatedly this year, another GOP presidential candidate not named Mitt Romney has ascended to the top of national polling, transforming the race and etcetera etcetera etcetera.  This time it’s Newt Gingrich taking the lead in both the latest USA Today/Gallup and Reuters/Ipsos polls.  Let’s start with Gallup, which splits its report between the general-population and registered-voter results:

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%.

These results are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,062 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents conducted Nov. 13-17. Compared with the prior poll, conducted Nov. 3-6, Gingrich’s support has increased from 12% to 19% among all Republicans. His support has gone up in each of the last three polls after bottoming out at 4% in August, and is now at his highest for the campaign to date.

Meanwhile, Cain, who has been dogged by allegations of sexual harassment, has seen his support dip slightly, from 21% to 16%. However, it remains well above the levels from earlier this year, which were generally in the single digits.

Rick Perry’s support also slipped, to 8% in the latest poll, conducted after the two most recent candidate debates, including the Nov. 9 debate in which Perry failed to remember the names of all three cabinet departments he vowed to shut down if elected. Perry’s support has declined in each of the last three updates after peaking at 29% in mid-August, shortly after he entered the race.

In the general population, Gingrich holds a small lead over Romney among conservatives, 23/20, while Romney leads more significantly among moderate/liberal respondents, 20/12 over Gingrich and Cain (tied for second) and 11% for Ron Paul.  The most remarkable part of this survey is that Ron Paul is the only candidate who hasn’t had a previous boomlet who scores significantly in the poll (4th place), which would theoretically give him position to be the next boomlet candidate if Gingrich fades.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, not by phone, while Gallup conducted their survey more traditionally.  They still ended up with about the same result, with Gingrich leading Romney 24/22, with Cain at 12% and Rick Perry in fourth at 10% instead of Ron Paul.  The bigger takeaway in the Reuters/Ipsos poll was the impact of Gingrich’s ties to Freddie Mac — or more to the point, the lack of impact those ties have on voters:

In a sign of further relief for Gingrich, 46 percent of Republicans said the revelations that he had received up to $1.8 million in consulting fees from mortgage giant Freddie Mac had no impact on their view of the candidate.

Thirty-one percent said the issue left them with a less favorable opinion of Gingrich, who has criticized Freddie Mac sharply in the past.

“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.

“Because he is established, this makes him much more well protected” from damage resulting from the Freddie connection, she said.

That’s true for now, at least.  Gingrich spent quite a few years as a consultant, and his client list has yet to be fully vetted.  Rudy Giuliani ran into a few issues with his client list in 2007/8, nothing major, but explaining is not winning.  We’re at the beginning of the process of vetting Gingrich rather than the end, and with the debate coming up tomorrow, we’ll see how aggressive his competitors will be about challenging him on those ties.

At the same time, though, the Republican primary season will start in about seven weeks.  That leaves little time for significant vetting, and it also means that there is precious little time for another candidate to catch fire before the Iowa caucuses take place.  Republican voters will have to get out of the bubble bath at some point, sooner rather than later, and decide on a nominee.  Gingrich has the highest national profile of the boomlet candidates thus far, and also surpasses those who haven’t yet hit a bubble, and that familiarity may make it difficult to dislodge him through any significant revelations.

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Ok. Go Newt and Cain!

tinkerthinker on November 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Paul as the next bubble candidate?

hahahaha!!! Only in La La Land! The guy is nuts!

csdeven on November 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I believe that Gingrich is better suited to take on the hell that will be released on the Republican nominee. Whoever is the nominee, they will need the backing and support of the party and conservatives to push back on the bs that will come.

Vince on November 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Mika should be fun all week.

aquaviva on November 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM

No thanks. ABO in the general, but I could never pull the lever for this guy in the primary.

juliesa on November 21, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Newt!

lorien1973 on November 21, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Mika was completely flabbergasted this morning over Newt’s rise in the polls…

Must see tv.

jondun5 on November 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Lead in National Polls = Jump in Fundraising

Lead in National Polls ≠ State primary wins

Repeat the above to yourself a thousand times and you will understand why Guiliani did not win the nomination and McCain, whose campaign was written off as dead, did.

I also laughed at the spin in the write-up.

Meanwhile, Cain, who has been dogged by allegations of sexual harassment, has seen his support dip slightly, from 21% to 16%

In which universe is a drop from 21% to 16% considered slight?

And then we have this:

Rick Perry’s support also slipped, to 8% in the latest poll, conducted after the two most recent candidate debates, including the Nov. 9 debate in which Perry failed to remember the names of all three cabinet departments he vowed to shut down if elected.

Helloooo? Rick Perry has been at 8% for quite a while now even before that debate. It rather shows that his “brain freeze” didn’t hurt him that mush and that can be attributed to the excellent way it was handled by him and his team.

TheRightMan on November 21, 2011 at 10:54 AM

At the same time, though, the Republican primary season will start in about seven weeks. That leaves little time for significant vetting

Plenty of time for some more poorly sourced smearing.

forest on November 21, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Mika was completely flabbergasted this morning over Newt’s rise in the polls…

Must see tv.

jondun5 on November 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I thought she was getting ready to break down and start bawling.

Punchenko on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

The desire to see Obama lectured is making the GOP throw away leadership skills as a qualification for nomination.

Professor Gingrich is our Professor Adlai Stephenson…he says what we want to hear said, but he has zero leadership skills.

We need to select a leader and we have two possibilities who are either Cain or Perry.

The sure defeat is GOP insiders running a non-leadership type from among Romney or Gingrich.

Obama is destroying the USA, but the voters still see him as a leader. Voters will demand another leader to beat him.

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Someone mentioned that it is going to be a long primary. I agree. I would not say the public is fickle, but rather it is 5 week till the Iowa caucus and they have not settled on 1, 2 , or 3 candidates.

Why is that? It think it is because the voters are still not totally satisfied with those that are running.

One week its Cain, one week, Perry; still another, Newt. Makes me think that public is still very much undecided on who they support.

The WSJ mentioned the other day that there was still time for other candidates to jump in. This late, I am not sure, except for a few that could make a difference.

There is really no one out there right now that is taking hold of the issues, other than Palin, albeit Perry did come out and say what everyone is thinking, that obama is a socialist. I can’t wait for the next debate for him to explain that to the LSM. And Newt also said a few things. But by and large, I am unimpressed as a voter.

This time in 2008, I had already settled on a candidate as was giving to them. To date this cycle, I have not given to anyone’s campaign.

So, candidates, sell me on yourself. Why should you be the one with the nuclear football?

ConservativePartyNow on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

More smears than are on an OWS tent.

forest on November 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

No thanks. ABO in the general, but I could never pull the lever for this guy in the primary.

juliesa on November 21, 2011 at 10:50 AM

I know that speaks for me, and probably many others here, as well.

listens2glenn on November 21, 2011 at 10:59 AM

More smears than are on an OWS tent.

forest on November 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

EEEEEEEeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on November 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Newt is only marginally better than Romney. I can’t vote for either in the primary. The big difference I see is that Newt would beat Obama whereas Romney might not.

cartooner on November 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

The most remarkable part of this survey is that Ron Paul is the only candidate who hasn’t had a previous boomlet who scores significantly in the poll (4th place), which would theoretically give him position to be the next boomlet candidate if Gingrich fades.

Well, there is still Zombie Reagan garden gnome…

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Newt is only marginally better than Romney. I can’t vote for either in the primary. The big difference I see is that Newt would beat Obama whereas Romney might could not.

cartooner on November 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

FIFY

ConservativePartyNow on November 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM

I watched Gnomeo and Juliet this weekend for the first time. Cute movie.

ConservativePartyNow on November 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Cain, who has been dogged by allegations of sexual harassment, has seen his support dip slightly

Or it could be due to his pathetic Libya answer.

John Deaux on November 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Full throttle liberal media attack in 5-4-3-2, oh wait, they never stopped.

Rovin on November 21, 2011 at 11:05 AM

The desire to see Obama lectured is making the GOP throw away leadership skills as a qualification for nomination.

Professor Gingrich is our Professor Adlai Stephenson…he says what we want to hear said, but he has zero leadership skills.

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

You mean to tell me that Speaker of the House isn’t a leadership position? Jim, you’re a nice guy, but Herman Cain isn’t coming back. Cain had his moment and he blew it with a string of gaffes followed by the now famous on-camera stroke. I’m sorry. :-(

Punchenko on November 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Heads exploding, left and right.

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Newt says that his “bath” remark to OWS was a paraphrase of Gov. Ronald Reagan to Berkley protesters.

Cindy Munford on November 21, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Mika was completely flabbergasted this morning over Newt’s rise in the polls…

Must see tv.

jondun5 on November 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I did see it, and her lamentations were most enjoyable to watch. Poor deluded Mika!

Naturally Curly on November 21, 2011 at 11:16 AM

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Because of your own ignorance you assume wrongly that Stevenson was nothing.

maverick muse on November 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

So you totally discount balanced budgets, surpluses and welfare reform under a Democrat president? I like Cain and Perry also but not enough to diminish or ignore the positives of other candidates.

Cindy Munford on November 21, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Ron paul will never be the front runner-THANK GOD!

Hard Right on November 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Professor Gingrich is our Professor Adlai Stephenson…he says what we want to hear said, but he has zero leadership skills.

You forgot your /sarc tag.

Of all the candidates, Newt certainly has the credentials of leading congress. None of the others do.

He has a stunning record as speaker of the house and remember, all those accomplishments (welfare reform, low unemployment, etc.) were all acheived under a Democrat president.

Newt can be critized for lots and lots of things, but lack of leadership skills is hardly on that list.

stenwin77 on November 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

“If you can’t beat Ron Paul… how are you going to beat Barack Obama?’ Craig Robinson, Iowa RNC.

I’ve had it being sold out by both major political parties. What’s the point of wringing your hands over which the next establishment figure should be? Those voting for more of the same, stay home.

If there’s an impartial journalist covering the campaign pertinent statistics, I’d read what Cameron Joseph has been writing to date in The Atlantic. Check this for example, “The Scots-Irish Vote,” Oct. 6, 2009 wherein Cameron Joseph provides some good thought preparing for 2012 strategies by all candidates regarding the Bubba Cracker vote. I’d argue that Bubba isn’t stupid, and doesn’t like being “had”. If indeed Scots-Irish are “herders” as espoused, having been abused by the nation’s major political parties places the “spoiler” onus on each party’s back for promoting establishment candidates whom voters eschew. Less eloquently, I’ll bet the ferocious poker player Tyler Harber that his bet on Mitt lacks the backing of the Scots-Irish who have wised up and are going to f8ck the party that’s f8cking Bubba. The GOP think they own the Scots-Irish just as the DNC owns the “minority” vote. We’ll see about the “culture of honor” herder-warrior voter turn-out, given that voters today are much more literate in political events and about weenie Washingtonian Republicanism than in previous elections wherein political commercials make Republicans appear to be strong (ex: Perry Gingrich ’12). It isn’t as if the Republican Congressional Members are respected by voters any longer, now particularly hated by their own constituents. Andrew C. McCarthy makes that case obvious even for die-hard neoconservatives. One thing about the Scots-Irish, they can smell a rat a mile away. And as Mark Steyn wrote, A land of hyper-legalisms is not the same as a land of law.

maverick muse on November 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Non-Romney Flavor of the Month. It’s just a “fill the vacuum by default” sort of thing after the previous non-Romney crashes and burns.

Of all the candidates, Newt certainly has the credentials of leading congress. None of the others do.

He has a stunning record as speaker of the house and remember, all those accomplishments (welfare reform, low unemployment, etc.) were all acheived under a Democrat president.

Newt can be critized for lots and lots of things, but lack of leadership skills is hardly on that list.

stenwin77 on November 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Yeah, and he was facing an all-out mutiny by his caucus just before he got out.

ddrintn on November 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Halperin said the Dems “embraced the Tea Party”!

HE HAS GOT TO BE KIDDING, RIGHT?

stenwin77 on November 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Oh my, they are so hoping the rise in Newt’s poll numbers is just a phase.

As Newt would say… “HOW WOULD SHE EVEN HAVE A CLUE” !!!

stenwin77 on November 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Can you believe it – Huffpo repeated that lie about Gingrich/ex wife/death bed/divorce papers – in an article published today?

I think they know that none of it actually happened… just another attempt to deceive.

moonlighter on November 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

What has to be depressing for Romney is that with his huge name recognition factor and having run before, he can’t siphon off any support of the others bubbling up and down around him. Stuck in that 20-27% range poll after poll after poll… and yet he remains a choice in each and every one.

That playing of prevent-defense isn’t winning him any support.

ajacksonian on November 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

I wish I could be for Newt, but he has made millions off his government connections. Out of all the current GOP candidates, he is most guilty of crony capitalism.

huckleberryfriend on November 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Ah. Another head in this little Wak-a-Mole game pokes up.

kurtzz3 on November 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Newt’s website to “set the record straight” is like a pretzel, explaining or justifying a history of bad judgement, the underlying theme being a strong government hand is needed to do the “right” things instead of the “wrong” things.

cartooner on November 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Newt can be critized for lots and lots of things, but lack of leadership skills is hardly on that list.
stenwin77 on November 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

That’s actually not true. He is a great thinker but a terrible manager – this is his biggest weakness. Oh, and as a reminder to all of you who think Romney is the RINOest RINO – Newt was criticized by conservative Republicans as Speaker for compromising too much – which led to a coup attempt. Anyone who thinks he’s better on Healthcare mandates, doesn’t flip flop, and stands firm on principle (to cite typical complaints about Romney) doesn’t know Newt’s record.

Newt goes for the jugular and is an awesome speaker/debater but he’s also a divisive figure and is going to have a harder time gaining the favor/trust of independents.

Buy Danish on November 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Professor Gingrich is our Professor Adlai Stephenson…he says what we want to hear said, but he has zero leadership skills.

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

He led Bill Clinton, with the people’s help.

jollybird on November 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Punchy…The Speaker of the House is no more a leadership position than Senate Majority leader. They count votes and encourage compromises with trades of gives and takes.

Leadership is entirely different from moderating. It presents a simple, doable goal, empowers followers and rewards followers who will support those goals.

But I suppose you knew that.

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Professor Gingrich is our Professor Adlai Stephenson…

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

This doesn’t work — analogy needs a better argument. Adlai Stephenson was of an entirely different background and personality type.

rrpjr on November 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Punchy…The Speaker of the House is no more a leadership position than Senate Majority leader. They count votes and encourage compromises with trades of gives and takes.

Second in line to be President? It’s quite different.

stenwin77 on November 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Professor Gingrich is our Professor Adlai Stephenson…

jimw on November 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Stevenson Volunteer: Senator, every thinking man in America is behind you.

Sen. Stevenson: Son, the problem is I need a majority.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 12:32 PM

We’re at the beginning of the process of vetting Gingrich rather than the end

Where are we in the vetting process of Mitt Romney?

cjtony97 on November 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Here’s the Bennett interview -lower right of the page.

http://www.billbennett.com/

stenwin77 on November 21, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Stuck in that 20-27% range poll after poll after poll… and yet he remains a choice in each and every one.

That playing of prevent-defense isn’t winning him any support.

ajacksonian on November 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

That is the most ignorant comment I’ve seen today. There this thing called “3 dimensional thinking”. It’s where you look past the poll numbers and take into account other factors in order to make an educated comment.

Try it sometime.

csdeven on November 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

There this thing called “3 dimensional thinking”… Try it sometime.
csdeven on November 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Here’s a stab:

Dimension one: the material fact as stated is that Romney cannot exceed a ceiling of support, no matter how much money and time he commits to his campaigns. Just as he could not in 2008, despite outspending all other candidates (more money for fewer votes than any primary campaign in history).

Dimension Two: Romney’s unrivaled serial inconsistencies in the name of opportunism and political cowardice leave him massively exposed as no other candidate.

Dimension Three: Romney’s congenital risk-aversion and inability to confront his opponents, his total cluelessness regarding the Left and his incompetence and over-reactions in political combat, render him the least effective candidate possible for republicans and the least suitable to go to war with Obama and the Left.

I could go on. But how many dimensions can we take all at once?

rrpjr on November 21, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Funny how it is that Newt is the embodiment of everything the “conservative” grass roots claims to hate, yet he is having his day. Newt is the consummate beltway insider. He was thrown out of office for his corruption. He has flip flopped on every issue you care to name. He was responsible for years of GOP electoral defeats following his effort as speaker to lead the disastrous Clinton impeachment. The impeachment over lying about sex, while at the very time Newt was lying about sex. His lack of character and “family values” in his personal life is the stuff of legend (placing him the John Edwards wing of the Hall of Rogues). He is the embodiment of an opportunist, elitist academician. He is the very portrait of arrogance in fact.

But all is forgotten and forgiven because he is not Romney. Funny how that works.

MJBrutus on November 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

That Mika meltdown was epic, her voice was shaking she was so miffed.

As for comments about Newt’s leadership, he was forced out by his own party because his party was losing seats; had they won, he would have still been around no matter how much people personally disliked his style.

Gingrich did what we all were begging Conservatives to do with Obama over the budget battle: he played hardball with Clinton and shut down the government. The media pounced, Gingrich was smeared, the party suffered, but America benefited as we got 4 years of balanced budgets as a result. Don’t think for one second that the austerity measures we need passed today won’t hurt the Republicans politcally but help America economically as well. Gingrich has been here before.

And whoever said Speaker of the House is not a major leadership position has no idea what they are talking about. The Speaker sets the agenda, is third in line to be President and after the President and Federal Reserve Chairman is the most powerful position in this country. Newt Gingrich was one of the most powerful speakers we’ve seen and that was with a Democrat in the White House.

Daemonocracy on November 21, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Funny how that works.
MJBrutus on November 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Not at all. People are making pragmatic, real-world conclusions about who among the remaining candidates is best fit to fight this fight. It isn’t Romney.

rrpjr on November 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM