Poll: Gingrich leads in Iowa, surges in NH

A new poll shows former House Speaker Newt Gingrich surging to the top of the GOP field in Iowa and gaining in New Hampshire.

The new NBC News/Marist College poll shows Gingrich winning the support of 26 percent of likely GOP Iowa caucus-goers surveyed (a 21-point jump since October) ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in second with 18 percent.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul comes third with 17 percent support. Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain received 9 percent however the poll was conducted before Cain announced on Saturday that he would suspend his campaign. Texas Gov. Rick Perry tied Cain with 9 percent.

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In New Hampshire, the NBC/Marist poll shows Gingrich gained 19 points and Romney declined by 8 points since October. While Romney still leads in the Granite State with 39 percent of likely voters, Gingrich is now in second place at 23 percent. 

Rep. Ron Paul received 16 percent with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman whose campaign has focused on a strong performance in the first-in-the-nation primary at 9 percent, a four-point increase from October.

The poll boost comes as Gingrich has vaulted to the top of numerous national GOP polls.


The latest Des Moines Register poll released Saturday also shows Gingrich holding the lead in Iowa. In that poll, Gingrich drew 25 percent of likely GOP voters surveyed, an 18 point jump since the October Register poll. Rep. Paul took second place with 18 percent and Romney third with 16 percent.

While Gingrich is surging in Iowa, he still lacks a built-up campaign structure in the state and Romney has made efforts to be more competitive in the caucuses. Earlier this week, Romney released his first television ad in Iowa raising expectations for his performance in the state.

The New Hampshire polling was conducted from Nov. 28 to 30 and Iowa polling from Nov. 27 to 29.

This story was updated at 1:37 p.m.

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