Top 10 Least Wanted

“Oh, there’s nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you,

When we treat you which we may not do at all.

There’s an Iowa kind of special chip-on-the-shoulder attitude.

We’ve never been without that we recall.”

–“Iowa Stubborn” from The Music Man

Iowa’s recent GOP straw poll is now behind us. Did you feel the earth move? Did you notice how it changed the entire political landscape? Did you follow every nuance and savor the savvy punditry?

Neither did we.

But the circumstances in Iowa did remind us of a clever idea a subscriber gave us: Why not ask Iowa Republicans who they would LEAST like to see nominated as president?

We couldn’t resist that one. Besides, the weird set up for the straw poll involving paying to play doesn’t exactly give us a great deal of confidence that the kernels of Iowa corn put into each candidate’s baskets were truly representative of the heartland’s GOP landscape.

Putting the list of candidates together caused a bit of a debate around here. Tim Pawlenty took himself out of it before we pulled the trigger, and Sarah Palin made the list since her bus tour started traipsing across the Midwest right before the events in the Hawkeye State. Someone suggested that Rudy Giuliani be included since he’s playing footsie with the media about running again, but our own straw poll left Rudy off the ticket. In the end, we included the following individuals in our list:

  • Michele Bachmann
  • Herman Cain
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Jon Huntsman
  • Sarah Palin
  • Ron Paul
  • Rick Perry
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rick Santorum

While we were at it, we asked the general electorate how they felt about the job President Obama is doing and a question concerning the likelihood of voting for him. Those who told us they consider themselves Republicans were then asked who they would MOST like to have as their nominee … followed by the piece de resistance: who they’d LEAST like to have nominated. Click IOWA POLL OUTLINE to see the poll script.

Here are the results: (if you want to download more details including some crosstabs, here they are: Iowa 081611.

Type of Poll: Automated
Date of Poll: 8/16/2011
Participants: 2,342 Iowa voters (Obama questions) 649 (GOP presidential questions)
Margin of Error: Obama questions: 2.02% / GOP questions only: 3.85%
GOP ONLY 
WHO THEY DON'T WANT
Michele Bachmann12%
Herman Cain8%
Newt Gingrich16%
Jon Huntsman14%
Sarah Palin25%
Ron Paul12%
Rick Perry3%
Mitt Romney7%
Rick Santorum3%
WHO THEY DO WANT
Michele Bachmann17%
Herman Cain5%
Newt Gingrich5%
Jon Huntsman1%
Sarah Palin7%
Ron Paul8%
Rick Perry29%
Mitt Romney15%
Rick Santorum4%
Other9%
ALL VOTERS
OBAMA APPROVAL
Approval47%
Disapproval49%
Neutral/Uncertain4%
OBAMA RE-ELECT
Agree39%
Disagree54%
Uncertain7%
DEMOGRAPHICS
PARTY I.D.
Republican29%
Democrat35%
Independent36%
GENDER/
Female59%
Male41%

All results have been weighted to normalize againstĀ  gender over/undersampling.

The eye opener to us was President Obama’s approval and re-elect numbers (click the link above for look at more detailed results ). Like we’ve seen in other Midwestern states, a higher-than-expected percentage of self-proclaimed Democrats disapprove of his job performance. But the real surprise was the 20% who said they won’t automatically vote to re-elect him until they know who he’s running against. To be fair, the re-elect question is asked in a vacuum–no opponent was specified, so these number cannot be viewed as a hardcore sign of impending demise. However, Independents’ responses are even more troubling to the president–a 60% hit on the negative end of the re-elect question clearly indicates their willingness to be wooed by another candidate.

Iowa may have been a big boost for Barack Obama four years ago…but for now, the corn-fed natives of Iowa might be developing a wandering eye.

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