InsiderAdvantage poll has Newt Gingrich within reach of Mitt Romney

In a poll for Newsmax.com, Atlanta-based InsiderAdvantage says GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is already in a statistical tie with frontrunner Mitt Romney in South Carolina. The line-up:

– Romney, 23 percent;

– Gingrich, 21 percent;

– Rick Santorum, 14 percent;

– Ron Paul, 13 percent;

– Jon Huntsman, 7 percent;

– Rick Perry, 5 percent;

– Undecided/No opinion, 15 percent.

The poll of 726 likely voters was conducted Wednesday. MOE is +/- 3.8%. Crosstabs can be found here on the IA web site, a subscription site. Says InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery:

“Romney and Gingrich are even among those who identify themselves as ‘Republicans’ in South Carolina. Among those who call themselves ‘Independent,’ Paul leads at 29% but Gingrich and Romney are not far behind. Men favor Gingrich, while women favor Romney. Of most of interest, Santorum performs well among voters age 30-44, holds his own among women, but is doing poorly among male voters.”

One reason this survey may not be getting the circulation you might expect: Remember that Newsmax.com aired a 30-minute valentine to Gingrich on several Iowa TV stations on the final weekend before the caucuses – an attempt to counter the wall of negative ads the Romney camp cut loose on the former U.S. House speaker in November.

Towery also served as a campaign adviser to Gingrich during his congressional days – but we’ll take him at his word that his survey is straight-up.

***
Here’s a quick Gingrich-oriented wrap-up of the day’s doings in South Carolina, from the Associated Press:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Under pressure from some in his own party, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pulled back his public attacks on front-runner Mitt Romney — at least for now.

Gingrich stuck to a largely subdued stump speech during two events Thursday in South Carolina’s capital, focusing instead on his plans for saving Social Security, creating jobs and boosting domestic energy production.

The often-combative Gingrich made no references to Romney, nor did he repeat his criticism of the former Massachusetts governor’s record as a venture capitalist. A pro-Gingrich political action committee also has railed against Romney’s tenure at the helm of Bain Capital with the release this week of a 28-minute film assailing Romney for “reaping massive rewards” as head of the private equity firm.

That line of attack has some Republicans worried that Gingrich is trying to save his faltering campaign at the party’s expense. Gingrich is grasping for a campaign lifeline in South Carolina, which holds its primary Jan. 21, after a pair of disappointing fourth-place finishes in the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce entered the debate Thursday, saying it was “foolish” for Republicans to bash Romney for his work as a venture capitalist. A top South Carolina support of GOP contender Rick Perry, who had taken to calling Romney a “vulture capitalist,” said Thursday he was joining Romney’s camp out of irritation over Perry’s attacks.

Gingrich acknowledged drawing the ire of some conservatives. But he insisted their anger was over his calls for auditing the federal bailout of the financial industry to see who got the money and why.

“When you have crony-capitalism and politicians taking care of their friends that’s not free-enterprise. That’s back-door socialism,” Gingrich said during remarks to older voters at a senior citizen’s expo.

During a morning TV interview, Gingrich said his questions about Romney were “not the centerpiece” of his campaign in South Carolina. Still, he said it was important to question Romney’s record because the former Massachusetts governor has based his campaign on the argument that he has the necessary business experience to restore the economy.

The former House speaker predicted that a win in the first-in-the-South primary would pave a path to the presidency.

“If I win South Carolina, I think I will become the Republican nominee,” he said.

Last month, Gingrich made a similarly bold declaration about winning the nomination. At the time he was ahead in the polls and Romney’s allies had not yet blooded Gingrich with a barrage of negative attack ads in Iowa.

South Carolina has a decades-long streak of voting for the eventual GOP nominee.
From South Carolina, Gingrich was headed to Florida to raise money and open a campaign headquarters.

***
Finally, here’s an assessment of the South Carolina situation by Emory University political scientist Merle Black:


- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

49 comments Add your comment

Darvocet spending

January 12th, 2012
6:33 pm

C’mon Santorum!! He’s the real comedy gold in this race.

double

January 12th, 2012
6:36 pm

When you have crony-capitalism and politicians taking care of their friends that’s not free enterprize.that’s back-door socialism.Newt tells it like it is.Hope he takes SC.

missing the point

January 12th, 2012
6:43 pm

Repubs, just pick one already!! The dog and pony show is getting old. None of the candidates have a clear strategy for anything except how they will try and trip each other up. No self-respecting person, republican or human can possibly bring themselves to vote for Newt. Mitt is your man. He’s all you got. No real players got in for you guys and that sucks for you. President Obama wipes his butt with better material than these guys. Obama 2012!! Please pick one you’re making the USA look crazy.

Not missing the point

January 12th, 2012
7:15 pm

The democrats do the same thing during the primaries, I remember barack & hilary butting heads plenty of times. This is the primaries, not the general election. Theres plenty of time to bash obama later.

VinnyD

January 12th, 2012
7:16 pm

I guess this means the end of the line for Perry. Huntsman will follow pretty soon as well.

Centrist

January 12th, 2012
7:16 pm

Romney and the Super Pac associated with him started striking back at Gingrich today – Gingrich has likely peaked in S.C. Even if Gingrich were to win S.C., which is still unlikely, he has no chance in Florida. Romney is ahead there, has campaigning activity in every county, has TV ads up, and early voting has already started with over a million absentee ballots sent out.

Gingrich is not running for president – he has other designs and ambitions.

MainelyDoc

January 12th, 2012
7:17 pm

Gingrich is an unstable fruitcake.

Dems missed the point

January 12th, 2012
7:24 pm

How can anyone in their right mind be for Obama…wake up America…please no second term for this idiot…Obama wipes his butt with your money maybe…

al-obama

January 12th, 2012
7:26 pm

Newt is the man and will rip hussein a newt one.

al-obama

January 12th, 2012
7:29 pm

galloway you need to be tared and feathered then stuck on a pole.The south pole!

catlady

January 12th, 2012
7:40 pm

Look before I leap...

January 12th, 2012
7:42 pm

NewsMax/InsiderAdvantage polls are not all that reliable in predictive results.

What is worth noting though, FiveThirtyEight is showing a downward momentum for Romney where he should being seeing at least a minor bounce after the NH results.

I think SC is a cheaper market to attack in and I suspect that Newt is gambling everything on Red to keep his campaign alive. If he places worse than 2nd in SC, he is toast going into Fl. If he ekes out a win, he will see a pretty big momentum bump in the numbers, but I don’t think he has the cash to compete effectively in the media markets in Florida.

Perry is on life support, and he will drop out after SC. His base may move to the Santorum camp which could keep things moderately interesting until Super Tuesday.

Barring pictures of Romney’s penis showing up on some Boy Scout’s cell phone, Newt is going to need a miracle to see his campaign continue into February.

Oakmanbob

January 12th, 2012
7:44 pm

Just sent Newt some more $$$. I hope more will do the same. Let’s show them that there are Georgians that are not a cut from the mold of Jimmy C.

Insider Advantage

January 12th, 2012
7:45 pm

Bought and Paid For

zeke

January 12th, 2012
7:45 pm

doesn’t that speak well of GA…..not

ILoveJesusToo

January 12th, 2012
7:53 pm

Too many people are missing the point. Evangelical meeting this weekend is set to endorse the “evangelical” candidate among Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry. If one of the three is ahead by enough, he will get the endorsment – Gingrich is pulling out all stops to be that one. And he has fired two wives.

Darvocet spending

January 12th, 2012
7:53 pm

lol Newsmax

Boortz had (has?) a column there, long after the AJC dumped him because of low readership

Matt Towerymt

January 12th, 2012
8:00 pm

The story is not correct. The poll was conducted for the Augusta and Savannah papers, not for Newmax. Running in the Wall Street Journal is enough to tell me it is widely circulated. Jim, quit putting me and our company down for no reason…we are the only major pollster in the south that actually employs real people, and we are accurate….

missing the point

January 12th, 2012
8:09 pm

dems missed the point…well I got news for you Obama in 2012 baby!! Ya’ll better get off the couch and turn Hannity off for now and go out and get you a real contender. Find somebody. You all should have groomed a couple of Yale grads by now. C’mon now somebody step up. Republicans I am ashamed of you, this is a result of poor planning on your part. Or are the big guns laying in wait for 2016?? I don’t blame ‘em I wouldn’t go up against President Obama either if I was in the business of winning elections. As the late great Bernie Mac used to say…”who ya wit??”
@OakmanBob (7:44) why the swipe at former President Jimmy Carter? He helped to rebuild your house!!—-”Who ya wit?”

missing the point

January 12th, 2012
8:15 pm

@ILoveJesusToo…and I do love Him by the way. How are evangelicals going to go for a Mormon? That just wouldn’t be right now would it? Too many philosophical differences isn’t it? Oops, the only other choice they have is Gingrich. Hmmmm. not much by way of choice there. Paul’s views on Isreal keeps him out the mix. Hmmmm.—”Who ya wit??”

Live free or die

January 12th, 2012
8:20 pm

This is 1980 all over again, take your pick, idiot, fool or socialist incumbent and a real statesman in a battle to save this nation. Just to see Newt mop the floor in a debate with Obama would be all I need to make everything right in my world.

td

January 12th, 2012
8:27 pm

missing the point

January 12th, 2012
8:15 pm

“How are evangelicals going to go for a Mormon?”

How can an evangelical or any Christian support a liberation theology Marxist?

Ol' Timer

January 12th, 2012
8:27 pm

@Al-obama — Ol’ Newt will never have the opportunity to rip Obama a newt one. Sorry about that, but Newt is too undisciplined, eratic, unstable, provocative and self-destructive, to say nothing of arrogant and angry and tacky.

I don’t know how to gauge it, but up in South Carolina the airwaves are filled with negative ads about all of the candidates and Mittens is teeing off on Newt. I think he trying to Newter him!

Darvocet spending

January 12th, 2012
8:28 pm

Hey everyone, the only way to get TD to stop posting is to ignore him.

Please just scroll past his posts.

missing the point

January 12th, 2012
8:38 pm

@livefreeordie…let me get this straight you want Newt to engage in one of those 3 hour debates with President Obama?? Yeah, o.k. that’ll show ‘em. Sorry we don’t have any hostages for Newt to trade arms for this go ’round. You know, like in 1980.–”Who ya wit?”

Travis McGee

January 12th, 2012
8:44 pm

The evangelicals would strike a deal with Satan if they thought he could beat Obama. Unfortunately for them it’s not going to work.

This race will be over when the “Deciders” decide they’re tired of wasting their money on bobbed-tail nags. They don’t trust Newt, Santorum is a Johnny One-Note, so that leaves Mittens who is their choice.

The oligarchs will throw their lot in with the plutocrat candidate and together they can create a plutarchy — a kingdom ruled by the rich and powerful. The Gilded Age Revisited brought to you my multiplied thousands of working class stiffs who have been played like banjos by the oligarchs.

And, so it goes. . . .

patrick r. cleburne

January 12th, 2012
9:11 pm

@Travis McGee
Why are you attempting to enlighten a group that is one step beyond believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause? Don’t burst their bubble.

Ray

January 12th, 2012
9:16 pm

Redneck white trash republican base will eventually shut it’s mouth and vote for who the wealthy tell them to vote for.

Obama 2012 – or start learning Chinese

patrick r. cleburne

January 12th, 2012
9:24 pm

@Ray
Spanish would be more appropriate, amigo. What Travis is describing, is Mexico. The middle class in this country is going the way of the passenger pigeon and the dodo bird, and it isn’t party specific.

Mitzymy

January 12th, 2012
9:50 pm

The republicans will never tell Newt what to do, now, or if he is president. He does and says whatever he wants to. He calls them “the elites.” The Dallas Morning News had a front page headline that said “Rick Perry Please Come Home.” That would’ve embarrassed me had I been Perry. I guess they are tired of being embarrassed by him. He will not make it, Huntsman and Santorum won’t either. Ron Paul wants to take us back to the early 1900’s, and he will be out too. The only thing, is Ron Paul might run as a Libertarian and that would mess all of them up.

patrick r. cleburne

January 12th, 2012
10:10 pm

Between confidence men/politicians, gerrymandering, lobbyists, and insane U.S. Supreme Court justices, it’s all academic anyway. The entire political process is theater.

melvinowens

January 12th, 2012
10:32 pm

after reviewing the republican candidates for president, i am convinced that for the sake of america, we must re-elect barack obama

Ted

January 12th, 2012
10:38 pm

I sense no credibility to this poll. Matt Towery, the wannabe politician whom no one voted for, runs it.
Just cannot imagine it has the statistical controls in place to be valid.

Arch

January 12th, 2012
10:42 pm

Anyone voting for Obama this time has a learning disability. Yellow dog democrats do make wonderful in laws, however.

honested

January 12th, 2012
11:09 pm

One of those names is guaranteed second place in November.

Which one doesn’t really matter, as long as their funders spend every penny they have between now and then.

Obama 2012!

Newt Bohemian Grove

January 12th, 2012
11:34 pm

Newt Gingrich has attended the SFO Bohemian Grove, look it up.

thwg

January 12th, 2012
11:51 pm

Not only is Newt too old to be Pres and old school, but he has the morals of a sewer rat. Doesn’t matter who the GOP picks, Big O is gonna roll in 2012

thwg

January 12th, 2012
11:52 pm

Arch, you must be yet another GOP racist redneck.

Colbert Nation

January 13th, 2012
12:57 am

Stephen’s gotta get a good percentage of that vote, right? We’re coming after YOU, Ron Paul.

Ron Paul For President 2102

January 13th, 2012
1:38 am

The only choice for freedom and liberty in 2012, Ron Paul! The only true conservative in the race. The only candidate willing to disband the TSA and bring the troops home to protect OUR soil, keep our money in the country, and divorce Wall Street from running our government.
A candidate who stands behind the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights and doesn’t want to tell you what you can or should do with your property, your body, your business, your family, or your money.

RON PAUL 2012
AMERICA IS READY!!!

Tom Degan

January 13th, 2012
4:45 am

Well over a year ago I predicted that the religious bigots and crazy people who long ago hijacked the “the party of Abraham Lincoln” would never nominate Mormon Mitt Romney. “David Duke will be named head of the NAACP before that ever happens” I speculated at the time. It appears that I might be forced to eat a healthy dish of crow on the occasion of Mitt’s victory in the New Hampshire Primary on Tuesday night. This is not to imply that the half-witted “base” of that party are happy about what happened on Tuesday . Anything but. Let me put it to you this way: The Republicans just got the news that they’re pregnant and they’re trying to fall in love as rapidly as possible.

Assuming he will be the 2012 nominee, Romney has a few hurdles to overcome. Let’s face some uncomfortable facts here, campers. Even his own people can’t stand him. He doesn’t come off as the most sincere guy – and that’s being generous. In fact he’s the most superficial candidate who ever sought the office. He reminds some people of the host of some lame, 1970’s game show. He’s not likely to inspire “the base” to show up at the polls en masse. Not only is his religion a hindrance, but there’s also the fact that this former governor of “Taxachusetts” is seen by these knuckleheads as the worst kind of bleeding heart liberal. Isn’t that a hoot? And you wonder why I get such a kick out of politics.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan

Denny

January 13th, 2012
4:48 am

Newt Gingrich actually accomplished great things FOR America like Welfare Reform and balancing our budgets, along with tackling other big problems America faced. He worked with Reagan Democrats to bring prosperity roaring back to America, while Mr. Romney became the ‘Father of Homosexual Marriage in America,” left the Republican Party in Mass in shambles, ran to the left of Ted Kennedy for the Senate and repudiated conservatism and Reagan’s America to try to worm his way to become POTUS. I was a Romney supporter for 4 years until the scales fell from my eyes to see what a deceiver Mitt Romney really is. Romney governed from the left, then spoke from the right when he ran for POTUS, all the while sounding as if he was a real Conservative. Gingrich got things done, while Ron Paul would undo the current world order of peace and unravel it with the Chinese, Russians and Islamofascists rewriting the rules, with America in the back seat. Gingrich can and has worked with Reagan Democrats, and will do so to turn this Ship around from the abyss it is quickly headed towards. Go Newt!

Bill Orvis White

January 13th, 2012
6:23 am

I’m praying for the honorable Speaker Gingrich to take South Carolina. If He can win this outright, then onward to Florida which can get Him through February and onto Super Tuesday where I would hope that He coul trounce Moderate Mitt.

If Speaker Gingrich cannot win SC, I’m afraid that WE THE PEOPLE need to rally behind the honorable Governor Mitt Romney and pray that He surrounds himself with conservatives.

Amen,
Bill

mehlman rings twice

January 13th, 2012
6:50 am

@ Live free or die at 8:20 pm:
Oh boy, here we go with that debate thing again! I guess all you need to be is a good debater to win the White House. Nothing else matters? Not the serial infidelity, not the “consulting” from Freddie Mac, nothing?

Ga Values...Ron Paul for Peace & Prosperity

January 13th, 2012
7:00 am

Enter your comments here

mehlman rings twice

January 13th, 2012
7:12 am

Bill Orvis White @ 6:23 am:
Sorry Bill, but the GOP has found it’s version of Ted Kennedy in Newt. Many people like what he says but because of this character they just aint gonna vote for him, especially women. It’s like this, women take it personally when you leave your sick ex-wife in relative poverty and then run a $500K tab at the jewelry store for the new wife.
Got it now?

Amen,
Mehlman

Bill Campbell

January 13th, 2012
7:12 am

Newt is in love with Newt!

Orlando

January 13th, 2012
7:36 am

Bottom line is, Newt CAN’T win the Presidency… Plain and simple, I am for Obama, so I dont give a rats behind who the Repubs gamble with. But, If i were a rebub (God help me if I were one) I would get behind Mitt, cause NEWT is too tainted. And he knows this, why do you thinnk he is selling books at every stop????

Dewey

January 13th, 2012
9:10 am

You are unhappy with the liberal Democrats that are pushing us toward pure socialism ? YES.
You are unhappy with the GOP ? NEWT is the only one to replace the BIG O.