Newt Gingrich’s current lead in Republican preferences for the GOP presidential nomination is largely attributable to particularly high support from the types of Republicans who might be expected to turn out heavily in the upcoming primaries — older Republicans and core identifiers with the Republican Party. Roughly 40% of Republicans aged 55 and older as well as core Republicans (as opposed to independents who lean Republican) and conservatives currently favor Gingrich for the nomination. This contrasts with 21% to 23% of each group backing Mitt Romney.
Gingrich also leads Romney among those 35 to 54 years of age. Romney leads among young Republicans, aged 18 to 34, but, at 26%, is only slightly ahead of Gingrich and Ron Paul among this group, with both receiving close to 20%.
These results are based on interviews with 1,665 Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters in Dec. 5-11 Gallup Daily tracking.
Overall, Gingrich led Romney by 10 percentage points during this period, 33% to 23%, with 9% backing Paul and 6% each backing Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.
This is not really a shocker. In fact, besides New Hampshire voters, I really do not see a natural GOP constituency group for Mitt Romney, except perhaps LDS-Mormon voters – and they do turn out.
With the Washington D.C. GOP establishment going all out against Gingrich, it will be interesting to watch the dynamics of the polls after the Iowa advertising blitz which is just starting against Gingrich.
In all likelihood, Gingrich will survive Iowa, regardless as to where he places, moves on to New Hampshire and then more fertile voter territory in South Carolina and Florida. With the sound of this morning’s news shows, it is apparent that Rudy Giuliani who remains popular in Florida (transplanted, older New York City retirees) will help Gingrich there.
Having more seniors aged voters for Gingrich means that Newt will be drawing from a committed group of voters that will turn out for him.