Atlanta-based InsiderAdvantage announced last night that it surveyed 557 registered Republican voters Sunday night and found that Newt Gingrich is leading Mitt Romney by 8 percentage points.The results:
Newt Gingrich: 34%
Mitt Romney: 26%
Ron Paul: 13%
Rick Santorum: 11%
No opinion: 14%
Some in the polling world, such as the New York Times Five Thirty Eight blog, have questioned InsiderAdvantage for having "pro-Gingrich" results. Indeed it did. Insider/Advantage was one of the first to show Gingrich leading by double-digits last week in South Carolina while CNN and NBC's polls had Gingrich losing. Gingrich won by double digits.
It should be noted, as we almost always do, that InsiderAdvantage's founder, Matt Towery, worked for Gingrich in the U.S. House. But over the years, Towery has frequently criticized Gingrich to us and, early in the race, he thought Gingrich had "no prayer."
One difference between InsiderAdvantage and the larger polls is that IA uses pre-recorded vote-by-touchpad 'robo-polling' to conduct its surveys and it tries to do them in one day. The others use live callers and often take place over two to three days.
So far, robo-polling seems pretty accurate. Polls will differ, and Public Policy Polling (a robo-polling firm which released a drop-dead poll before South Carolina that had some spot-on results) tweeted last night that, of about 600 Republicans surveyed in Florida, it could only find a 2-person vote difference betwee Romney and Gingrich. So its poll, which will also survey early/absentee voters could have a closer result.