Shock Poll: Ron Paul Tied for First in Iowa

Scientific Public Policy Polling finds that ‘Paul closes in on Gingrich,’ now statistically tied for the lead in Iowa

Aaron Dykes
December 13, 2011

Iowa: Ron Paul Closes in on GingrichA breaking poll conducted by the Public Policy Polling organization shows Rep. Ron Paul in a statistical tie for first place among likely GOP voters next to Newt Gingrich, the first poll yet to show Texas Congressman in a position to win outright in the Iowa Caucus, the nation’s leader in the 2012 GOP primary.

Though Newt Gingrich had a clear lead last week, Paul has closed the margin, now polling at 21%, statistically matching Gingrich’s 22%. As the above graphic shows, the libertarian-leaning Congressman has tremendous support in Iowa, which is only growing. Mitt Romney remains at third with 16%. The standard margin of error for scientific polls is 3%.

“Newt Gingrich’s momentum is fading in Iowa,” commented the President of Public Policy Polling Dean Debnam. “Meanwhile Ron Paul is building an unusual coalition of support for a Republican primary. The big question is: will they really turn out?”

Further, the polling results show that Ron Paul supporters tended to be staunch and firm in their candidate, with 77% “definite” in their choice, while Gingrich supporters were only 54% certain, according to the poll. Iowa goes to caucus January 3rd.

From the Public Policy Polling website:

Paul closes in on Gingrich

There has been some major movement in the Republican Presidential race in Iowa over the last week, with what was a 9 point lead for Newt Gingrich now all the way down to a single point. Gingrich is at 22% to 21% for Paul with Mitt Romney at 16%, Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry at 9%, Rick Santorum at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 5%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.

Gingrich has dropped 5 points in the last week and he’s also seen a significant decline in his favorability numbers. Last week he was at +31 (62/31) and he’s now dropped 19 points to +12 (52/40). The attacks on him appear to be taking a heavy toll- his support with Tea Party voters has declined from 35% to 24%.

Paul meanwhile has seen a big increase in his popularity from +14 (52/38) to +30 (61/31). There are a lot of parallels between Paul’s strength in Iowa and Barack Obama’s in 2008- he’s doing well with new voters, young voters, and non-Republican voters:

-59% of likely voters participated in the 2008 Republican caucus and they support Gingrich 26-18. But among the 41% of likely voters who are ‘new’ for 2012 Paul leads Gingrich 25-17 with Romney at 16%. Paul is doing a good job of bringing out folks who haven’t done this before. Videos:

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