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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Poll Shows Gingrich Surging Again Nationally

By Susan Duclos

In a new Rasmussen poll of likely Republican primary voters nationwide has Mitt Romney with 30 percent, Newt Gingrich with 27 percent, Rick Santorum 15 percent, Ron Paul 13 percent and Rick Perry with 4 percent.

Via Rasmussen:

But the story in the new numbers, taken Tuesday night, is Gingrich’s jump 11 points from 16% two weeks ago. Romney’s support is essentially unchanged from 29% at that time, while Santorum is down six points from 21%. Paul’s and Perry’s support is also unchanged. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman earned four percent (4%) of the vote at the start of the month but dropped out of the race this week. This suggests that many voters are still looking for an alternative to Romney and currently see Gingrich as that candidate.

Among Republican primary voters nationwide, 34% think Romney is the GOP candidate who would do a better job managing the economy, but almost as many (29%) feel Gingrich would do the better job. Paul’s a distant third at 14%. When it comes to national security and defense, Gingrich is the clear leader: 43% think he would do a better job versus 18% who say the same of Romney.

During this contentious primary season we have seen one candidate after another surge ahead, then level out in support, but until this latest surge for Gingrich, we have not seen a candidate surge twice.

With the South Carolina primaries just days away, the unprecedented standing ovation for Newt Gingrich, along with another impressive debate performance for him, two nights ago at the Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, SC., hosted by Fox News Channel and The Wall Street Journal, may have given Gingrich a well timed bounce, not only in the national polls but in time for the primary voters of South Carolina to take a second hard look at Gingrich before casting their vote on Saturday.