November 14, 2011
Gingrich takes the leadNewt Gingrich has taken the lead in PPP's national polling. He's at 28% to 25% for Herman Cain and 18% for Mitt Romney. The rest of the Republican field is increasingly looking like a bunch of also rans: Rick Perry is at 6%, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum each at 1%.
Compared to a month ago Gingrich is up 13 points, while Cain has dropped by 5 points and Romney has gone down by 4. Although a fair amount of skepticism remains about the recent allegations against Cain there is no doubt they are taking a toll on his image- his net favorability is down 25 points over the last month from +51 (66/15) to only +26 (57/31). What is perhaps a little more surprising is that Romney's favorability is at a 6 month low in our polling too with only 48% of voters seeing him favorably to 39% with a negative opinion.
Gingrich's lead caps an amazing comeback he's made over the last 5 months. In June his favorability nationally with Republican voters plummeted all the way to 36/49. Now he's at 68/23, representing a 58 point improvement in his spread since then. As recently as August Gingrich was mired in single digits at 7%, and even in September he was at just 10%. He's climbed 18 points in less than 2 months.
Note from Wikipedia:
Public Policy Polling (PPP) is an American Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. PPP was founded in 2001 by businessman and Democratic pollster Dean Debnam, the firm's current president and chief executive officer. The company's surveys use Interactive Voice Response (IVR), an automated questionnaire used by other polling firms such as SurveyUSA and Rasmussen Report.
PPP's polls have been described as very accurate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election by The Wall Street Journal and Mark Blumenthal, senior polling editor of the Huffington Post and the founding editor of Pollster.com, among others. Although being affiliated with the Democratic Party, PPP has not exhibited a Democratic bias in its polling results; according to Nate Silver of Fivethirtyeight.com, PPP actually had a small pro-Republican bias in its 2010 polling results.