Polls: Gingrich paces Iowa; Romney N.H.

Dec. 5, 2011 at 12:42 PM   |   0 comments

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DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich leads the pack of contenders with less than a month before the Iowa caucuses, a Marist-NBC News poll indicates.

With 26 percent, Gingrich outpolled his nearest rivals, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, by 8 percentage points and 9 percentage points, results released Sunday indicated. The Iowa caucuses are Jan. 3.

Nine percent of participants said they were undecided, the same percentage that backed Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who suspended his campaign Saturday amid allegations of sexual harassment while he led a trade organization and reports that he had a 13-year extramarital affair.

Minnesota's U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania both had 5 percent, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman had 2 percent.

In New Hampshire, which conducts its primary Jan. 10, Romney outpaces his closest competitor by 16 percentage points, 39 percent to Gingrich's 23 percent.

Paul was third with 16 percent, Huntsman polled fourth with 9 percent, followed by Bachmann and Perry receiving 3 percent, Cain collecting 2 percent and Santorum getting 1 percent. Four percent of participants in the Marist-NBC News New Hampshire poll said they were undecided.

Information about sample sizes, dates and margins of error for both polls was unavailable.

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