Poll: Gingrich surges ahead in US Republican race

WASHINGTON Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:53am IST

U.S. Republican presidential candidate former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich responds while participating in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate with former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire December 12, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

U.S. Republican presidential candidate former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich responds while participating in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate with former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire December 12, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken a commanding lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, hitting the 40 percent mark for the first time in the campaign, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Tuesday.

Gingrich is the first choice of 40 percent of Republican primary voters compared with 23 percent support for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the poll found.

But the survey also found deep unease with the Republican front-runner among independents and swing voters who normally decide presidential elections, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In a hypothetical contest with President Barack Obama, Gingrich trails the Democratic incumbent by more than 10 percentage points (40 percent to 51 percent) while Obama leads Romney by 2 percentage points (47 percent to 45 percent).

According to the poll, a majority of Republican primary voters, 51 percent, view the field of candidates competing to challenge Obama in the 2012 presidential race as "average," according to the poll.

Only 21 percent of respondents believe the Republican field is strong and 27 percent say it is weak, the survey found.

The remaining Republican candidates polled below 10 percent with Texas Representative Ron Paul at 9 percent, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann at 8 percent, Texas Governor Rick Perry at 6 percent, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman at 5 percent, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum at 3 percent.

The poll of 1,000 people was conducted December 7-11 and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

FILED UNDER:

World Wrap

Reuters Showcase

MH370 an "Accident"

MH370 an "Accident"

Malaysia declares MH370 an "accident", airline to proceed with compensation.  Full Article 

No Foreign Bids

No Foreign Bids

NTPC bars foreign bids for three solar projects.  Full Article 

Photo

Vodafone Tax Case

India's Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others  Full Article 

Facebook Earnings

Facebook Earnings

Facebook tops Wall Street revenue target in 4th quarter.  Full Article 

Japanese Hostage

Japanese Hostage

Islamic State said to set new deadline for hostage swap  Full Article 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

Batting holds key for team India in World Cup  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Murray answers coaching questions by reaching final.  Full Article 

Road To Development

Road To Development

Build better roads in developing world to bolster food supplies - study  Full Article 

Photo

Laser Pioneer Dies

Laser's co-inventor, Nobel laureate Charles Townes, dead at 99  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage