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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 03:33 PM ET, 11/22/2011

Poll watcher: Gingrich leads in GOP race, Americans predicted supercommittee failure

Gingrich becomes seventh GOP frontrunner – Three new national polls show former House speaker Newt Gingrich either tied with or holding a slight lead over Mitt Romney, and when pitted against each other, Gingrich holds a 10 percentage point edge. A CNN poll released Monday (conducted Nov. 18-20) shows Gingrich with 24 percent support among Republican and GOP-leaning independents and Romney at 20 percent (within the margin of error). Gingrich edges out Romney 26 to 22 percent in a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday (conducted Nov. 14-20), and holds a 49 to 39 percent edge head-to-head. A Gallup poll conducted last week showed the two roughly even, 22 percent for Gingrich and 21 percent for Romney.

Herman Cain has fallen steeply from late October, but has hit a plateau in the teens. He earns between 14 and 17 percent in the three new polls, a sign that his core of supporters hasn’t abandoned him. By contrast, Texas Gov. Rick Perry wins between 6 and 11 percent support, a far cry from his September highs of 30 percent and no better after rolling out a flat tax proposal and a plan to “Uproot and Overhaul Washington.”

Lastly, while Ron Paul has risen fast in polls in Iowa, home to the first contest of the primary season, he’s seen no such gains on the national stage and continues to be mired in the high single and low double digits. Paul garners 9 percent support in the latest CNN poll, 6 percent in Quinnipiac and 9 percent in Gallup, little changed from polls since the summer and fall.

Public predicted supercommittee failure – For all the cheap shots about the American public’s intelligence, give ’em this: They predicted the failure of the congressional supercommittee from a mile away. Nearly three quarters of adults said Democrats and Republicans in Congress were unlikely to agree on a deficit reduction plan in an October Washington Post-ABC News poll. Asked last week in a Quinnipiac poll who they would blame for the breakdown, 44 percent of registered voters chose Republicans in Congress, 38 percent Obama and congressional Democrats.

New Hampshire polls update — As we wrote this morning, GOP primary polls in New Hampshire are looking a little wacky in November, showing a “commanding lead” for Romney and a “statistical dead heat” within a matter of days. Two polls released this week show better news for Romney, but don’t provide much comfort that Granite State pollsters are reaching the same likely electorates.

Romney leads with 41 percent, with Gingrich and Paul at 14 percent apiece among likely primary voters in a Suffolk University/7News poll released Monday. Romney holds a slimmer 33 to 22 percent lead over Gingrich in an American Research Group poll conducted at over the exact same days (Nov. 16-20). While the storyline of a Romney lead is the same, the eight-point difference between the polls’ support both for Romney and Gingrich is remarkable.

The Suffolk poll is conducted on landlines alone and weights by a projected turnout for party registration (a controversial practice). American Research Group has a spotty track record in the state, most famously showing a two-point advantage for George W. Bush in 2000 in advance of a 19-point victory for John McCain.

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By  |  03:33 PM ET, 11/22/2011

Categories:  GOP nomination, Congress, Federal Budget Deficit

 
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