The comeback kid: Gingrich beating Romney in Iowa poll

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has jumped into second place in Iowa, ahead of Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Monday.

An automated poll conducted by We Ask America, found that 18 percent of likely caucus goers would vote for Gingrich if the caucuses were held today. Cain is still in first place with 22 percent, despite weathering a week of sexual harassment allegations. Gingrich edges out Mitt Romney, who is in third at 15 percent.

Gingrich has witnessed large gains since his numbers dropped and his staff deserted over the summer.

The survey was taken on Sunday, after a full week of the sexual harassment charges against Cain being front and center in the news, yet voters don’t appear to be withdrawing support, for now at least.

Other polls in recent weeks have found Gingrich coming up in the polls. Since the beginning of October, Gingrich has begun to steadily climb in Iowa, and consistently sits at about ten percent in the polls. An Insider Advantage poll released Thursday found Gingrich in third at 12 percent.

His support is high among males — 24 percent of whom say they would vote for him — and he performs very well among those over age 45.

There are indications that voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, and nationwide, are giving Gingrich a second look. Politico reports that he got the most enthusiastic response from the crowd at the Iowa Republican Party’s dinner this weekend, drawing far more excitement than Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul, all of whom also spoke at the dinner.

“I think [Iowa voters are] giving both Santorum and Newt kind of a new look,” said Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Steve Scheffler. “Whether [the candidates] can translate that into pulling out the caucus … I don’t know … but I think both of them are making progress.”

Gingrich appears to be the candidate poised to gain most if Cain’s poll numbers start to slide as a result of the sexual harassment allegations. Public Policy Polling found that in at least two states — Maine and North Carolina — Gingrich was the second choice of a plurality of Cain voters, and is the logical heir to Cain’s tea party support.

The poll is based on a November 6 automated survey of 864 GOP voters in Iowa who said they planned to attend the Republican caucus. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.33 percentage points.

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