To the Wire: 2 Iowa Polls Show Santorum Moving Ahead of Gingrich into 3rd; 2 Show Romney Leading; 1 Shows Paul; 1 Shows 3-Way Tie

December 29, 2011 - 2:08 PM
Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(CNSNews.com) - Four polls released this week of likely Iowa caucus voters show a tight and shifting race, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading in two, Rep. Ron Paul leading in one, and Romney, Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich virtually tied in another.

Two of the polls show former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania moving ahead of Gingrich into third place.

A Rasmussen Reports poll of 750 likely Republican caucus goers that was conducted Wednesday gave Romney 23 percent, Paul 22 percent, Santorum 16 percent, and Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry 13 percent each. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota was at 5 percent in this poll and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was at 3 percent. The poll's margin of error was +/- 4 points.

A CNN poll of 452 likely Republican caucus goers completed on Tuesday put Romney at 25 percent, Paul at 22 percent, Santorum at 16 percent, Gingrich at 14 percent, Perry at 11 percent, Bachmann at 9 percent and Huntsman at 1 percent. This poll had a margin of error of  +/- 4.5 points.

Another poll completed Tuesday—by Public Policy Polling—showed Ron Paul in first place with 24 percent. In this poll, Romney was second with 20 percent, Gingrich was third with 13 percent, Bachmann was fourth with 11 percent, and Perry and Santorum were tied for fifth with 10 percent. Huntsman had 5 percent for seventh place. This poll, which surveyed 565 likely caucus goers, had a margin of error of +/-4.1 percent.

A fourth poll completed Wednesday—by Insider Advantate/Majority Opinion Research—surveyed 429 likely Iowa caucus goers. It showed Paul, Romney and Gingrich in a virtual tie, with Paul at 17.3 percent, Romney at 17.2 percent, and Gingrich at 16.7 percent. Santorum placed fourth in this poll with 13.4 percent, followed by Bachmann with 11.8 percent, Perry with 10.5 percent, and Huntsman with 2.8 percent. The 429 likely caucus goers surveyed in this poll included 298 Republicans, 117 Independents, and 14 Democrats.