A poll released Thursday by Rasmussen shows former House Speaker Newt Gingrich slipping to second place, just behind Mitt Romney.
For the fifth straight survey, the GOP field has a new frontrunner in Iowa.
On this first release video, Scott Rasmussen reveals Mitt Romney as the new frontrunner in the Iowa Caucus.
According to Rasmussen, Romney is now in first place at 23 percent, while Gingrich has slipped to 20 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul comes in third at 18 percent.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air notes that a month ago, Rasmussen showed Gingrich up 13 percentage points above Romney.
Observing Romney’s stability in the polls as compared to the other candidates, Morrissey adds:
The internals show some interesting points. Gingrich captures 27% of “very conservative” respondents, but Romney gets 17%, good for second place. Romney wins the “somewhat conservative” demo by ten points at 29/19 over Gingrich, and not surprisingly, the “other” category at 22%. Paul comes in second rather than third in this last demo at 19%. Rick Perry ties for third place at 14% among very conservative respondents, falls well back to fourth place at 10% in the intermediate group, and drops to 6% among “others.” If Perry wants to get enough of a bounce to compete in two weeks, he needs to either start grabbing a lot more of Gingrich’s “very conservative” support or look for ways to attract the “somewhats.”
The battle between Gingrich and Romney has devolved into a strange class-warfare duel with each accusing the other of being “out of touch” with average Americans.
“We’ve got two Republicans going after each other the way liberals talk about us with this class warfare business,” Rush Limbaugh noted Thursday.
We’ve got two Republicans going after each other the way liberals talk about us with this class warfare business. Romney out there, (impression) “Hey, you know, Gingrich has got a lot of money, he’s not exactly a man of the people, he’s out there 10,000, $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany,” but the bad thing about that is we got two guys attacking rich people. So Romney’s attacking Newt for being rich and Newt’s not that rich, and Newt’s attacking Romney for being rich, and Romney is that rich. But it’s usually the Democrats that do that kind of stuff. Whatever, folks, we will wade through this.
“The long knives throughout will the Republican Party have come out for Newt,” he said.
One possible beneficiary of the Romney-Gingrich battle may be Ron Paul, who recently came in second in a PPP poll, just one point behind Gingrich.
Limbaugh quoted Fox News’ Chris Wallace:
“Well, the Ron Paul people aren’t gonna like me saying this, but to a certain degree it’ll discredit the Iowa caucuses because — rightly or wrongly — I think most of the Republican establishment thinks that Ron Paul is not going to end up as the nominee. So therefore Iowa won’t count, and everything else will go on,” Wallace said.
So Chris Wallace: If Ron Paul wins it, Iowa is discredited because Paul doesn’t have a prayer anyway. So if Paul wins in Iowa, it means Iowans are not a factor. Mitt Romney did not call Ron Paul “zany.” Mitt Romney called Newt Gingrich “zany.” George Will has not called Barack Obama “a Marxist.” George Will has called Newt Gingrich “a Marxist.” I tell you, am I right, did I tell you yesterday and the day before?
Rasmussen notes that the “survey of 750 Likely Iowa Republican Caucus Participants was conducted on December 13, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.”
The candidates are set to face off Thursday in what will be the final debate of the year, and possibly the last time the candidates will face each other before the Iowa caucuses next month.
Morrissey quotes Des Moines Register’s chief political analyst Jennifer Jacobs:
In tonight’s nationally televised Republican Party debate in Sioux City, every available line of attack will be exploited, politics watchers say. Few pieces of opposition research will go unused. The most passionate closing arguments will be made.
For some of these candidates, it may be their last time on the stage as a presidential candidate. For one, it could mark the point where he or she began the serious business of becoming the Republican nominee — and possibly the next president of the United States.
“After countless months, in some cases years, of hard work and investment of key resources, this debate will go down as the most important two hours of the campaign for Iowa,” predicted Republican strategist David Polyansky of New York City.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) was recently named chair of the Romney campaign in Washington state after she endorsed him for the GOP nomination.
More on Newt Gingrich at lodeplus.com here.
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