NEWARK, Del. — Newt Gingrich edged out Mitt Romney in a Delaware GOP straw poll Wednesday night by a margin of 40 percent to 39 percent.
“This shows even in Delaware Republicans haven’t settled on one candidate for the 2012 presidential nomination, and it’s a two-man race here as it is in much of the nation,” state Chairman John Sigler said after announcing the vote at a winter fundraising dinner.
The victory is another signal that Mr. Gingrich has turned his once-floundering nomination bid into a success while spending virtually no money and having no organization to speak of.
“Mitt has had people here working this state for five or six months and Newt just started organizing here a few days ago, said State Rep. Gregory Lavelle, who described himself as an informal adviser to Mr. Romney’s Delaware campaign.
The other five nomination contenders placed in the single digits in the poll of state party central committee members, delegates to the most recent state GOP convention and delegates to the state GOP women’s federation convention.
“What’s significant here is that only party regulars — state committeemen and women and delegates — could vote, and yet it came out this way,” said Mr. Sigler, a conservative heading a state GOP normally helmed by a moderate Republican.