Two polls released Monday, one from Public Policy Polling and the other from Insider Advantage, show a dramatic drop in favorability for Newt Gingrich, putting him in third place for the GOP nomination, after Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Current frontrunner Ron Paul gained the most from the end of the Gingrich surge, as his polling percentage increased by seven points in six days, according to Insider Advantage, and two points in five days, according to PPP. Romney’s favorability also appears to be recovering in Iowa, as he had been previously been trailing both Gingrich and Paul since the first week of December.
Insider Advantage and Public Policy Polling Methodology
Polling numbers released by Insider Advantage do not reveal their methodology. However, the release does state that the poll was executed by Majority Opinion Research. This is a private market research company, and its website states that it uses telephone interviewing, internet surveys and automated phone calls. There is no specific information regarding the method used for this specific poll, but the data release does state that interviews were conducted on one day, December 18.
Public Policy Polling is a Democratic pollster, although its methodology statement declares that a polling expert has found its results more frequently favor Republican candidates. The sample consisted of 597 Iowa Republicans who stated that they intended to participate in the Iowa Caucuses. Respondents were contacted between December 16 and December 18, via automated phone interviewing. The margin of error was +/-4 points.
GOP Polling: Could Paul Win Iowa?
The current RealClearPolitics average has Paul leading in Iowa with 21.7 percent of the vote, followed by Romney with 20.3 percent, then Gingrich with 15.7 percent. The average was reached using these two polls, as well as a Rasmussen poll that was conducted on December 13, and had Romney in the lead by three points, followed by Gingrich, with Paul trailing Gingrich by two points. Although the trend in the various polls indicates support for the theory that Gingrich’s surge is waning, to the benefit of Romney and Paul, the three current frontrunners remain relatively close. Although the Iowa caucuses are only two weeks away, there seems to be enough indecision in Iowa that another shift in opinion could bring about a new shakeup, which could mean a new frontrunner, or a more solid Paul lead.