Gingrich Tops GOP Field in Another National Poll

Gingrich Tops GOP Field in Another National Poll

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - November 22, 2011

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich leads the Republican field of White House contenders in a new national poll, more than doubling his support among GOP voters in less than a month.

Gingrich attracts 26 percent of the support from Republicans and GOP-leaning independents in a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. A Quinnipiac poll taken earlier this month found Gingrich with just 10 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney garners 22 percent, shedding a point since the last poll. Herman Cain falls to third place with 14 percent, dropping 16 points since early November, when he led the field. None of the remaining candidates receives more than 6 percent of the support. Nineteen percent of voters remain undecided.

Gingrich leads Romney among men by eight points, but women are split between the two front-runners. Gingrich holds a nine-point edge among conservatives, while Romney leads among moderates by 11 points. By a two-point margin, voters think Romney (over Gingrich) would do the best job handling the economy. However, when asked who would do the best job handling foreign policy, 46 percent of voters choose Gingrich with only 16 percent citing Romney.

While Gingrich leads the pack, his favorability rating is under water, with 30 percent having a positive opinion of him and 42 percent having negative opinion. Romney earns a positive grade, 36 percent to 31 percent. Voters are split on the president in this category, with 47 percent holding a favorable opinion and 46 percent holding an unfavorable opinion. Despite Gingrich's lead, 38 percent say Romney is best equipped to defeat Obama in the general election while 23 percent say the same for Gingrich.

When matched directly against Obama, Gingrich trails by nine points, taking 40 percent of the support among the full sample of registered voters. The president leads among independents by 10 points. Romney comes within striking distance of the president, trailing by just one point. Independents are virtually split between Obama and Romney, 43 percent to 42 percent. The poll shows some momentum for Romney: Earlier this month, the former Massachusetts governor lagged five points behind the president.

Quinnipiac surveyed 2,552 registered voters, including 1,039 Republican primary voters, from Nov. 14-20. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points. The sampling error for Republicans is plus or minus three percentage points. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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