DES MOINES — Newt Gingrich enters the final four weeks of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses with Republican voters in the state viewing him as more prepared to be president than Mitt Romney, more attuned to their concerns and just as capable of defeating President Obama, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.You know, we're still just shy of a month out from the Iowa caucuses, and it's not too late for Gingrich to peak. It's been a roller coaster for GOP candidates all year, so maybe it's Newt's turn. We'll see, either way. For now, though, he's in the driver's seat. See WSJ, "Gingrich Clocks Huge Gains in All Early Voting States" (via Memeorandum). And at Time Magazine, "CNN/TIME/ORC Poll: Gingrich Posts Massive Gains in Key Early States."
Mr. Gingrich is rated more favorably than any of the other six remaining candidates in the race among voters who say they are likely to attend the Republican caucuses in Iowa. He would be supported enthusiastically as his party’s presidential nominee by more voters than any of his rivals, the poll found, and is leading in the head-to-head competition as the campaign here builds.
But two-thirds of likely voters remain open to changing their minds, the poll found, with even more saying they are willing to embrace a candidate who is less conservative than they are in order to win the White House. And a large majority of voters say economic concerns are more important than social issues or immigration, suggesting that Mr. Romney has ample opportunity to make his case to voters.
A presidential race that has seen candidates abruptly rise and sharply fall is still remarkably unsettled here in Iowa, where the Republican nominating contest opens on Jan. 3. The outcome of the caucuses is likely to trim the field of candidates and help shape the contours of the primary race as it moves to New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond.
As the campaign intensifies through television advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts, the contest is hardly a Gingrich-Romney duel. Representative Ron Paul of Texas is essentially tied with Mr. Romney for second place, creating a combustible atmosphere as he and other rivals urgently work to slow the rapid ascent of Mr. Gingrich.
The voters who will render the first judgment on the Republican field have been carefully following the race — 7 in 10 say they have watched recent televised debates — and appear unified around the pursuit of beating Mr. Obama. Of the nearly 4 in 10 likely caucusgoers who say they get most of their information from Fox News, Mr. Gingrich is the overwhelming choice.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
At New York Times, "In Iowa, Gingrich Is Gaining Favor, New Poll Shows" (via Memeorandum):