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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fighting Islamic State

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

U.S. to issue new Ebola guidelines, watch lists to shrink.  Full Article 

Setback for Abe

Setback for Abe

Setback for Japan PM as trade minister quits, media say another resign.  Full Article 

New President

New President

Reform-minded outsider Widodo takes over as Indonesia's president.  Full Article 

Call for Leniency

Call for Leniency

South Korea concert victims' families call for leniency.  Full Article 

Hong Kong Crisis

Hong Kong Crisis

Hong Kong crisis deepens after weekend clashes, talks set for Tuesday.  Full Article 

Kidnapped Girls

Kidnapped Girls

Nigerians doubtful of girls' release after Boko Haram "truce" breached.  Full Article 

Brazil Politics

Brazil Politics

Brazil's Rousseff on the offensive a week from runoff vote.  Full Article 

Nepal Disaster

Nepal Disaster

Tragedy shakes Nepal's faith in tourism.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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