Early test in Iowa

Yeah, we know. It’s too early to be polling in Iowa for Republican presidential caucuses. There are a bevy of potential candidates–too many to conveniently poll using automated technology. Pockets of snow still dot Midwestern corn fields–not exactly the time of year when people are thinking about presidential politics. And we’re all still reeling from the remnants of upheaval from the fall elections.

But the first sign of spring in Iowa isn’t the sighting of Robin Redbreast; it’s the appearance of grizzled political operatives accompanied by young, freshly scrubbed ground troops hunkering down in the heartland to ply their trade. And today’s Washington Post reported that a number of GOP wannabes have sent their minions into Des Moines and other Iowa burgs. Good enough for us…let’s poll!

The nebulous nature of the candidate list forced us to make some tough decisions, especially which candidates to include. So, after much debate we settled on:

  • Haley Barbour
  • Mitch Daniels
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Sarah Palin
  • Ron Paul
  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Mitt Romney
  • Donald Trump

We were compelled to include Mr. Trump  in our offering after seeing a news report of the Trump Jet in all its Trump-o-licious grandeur on the tarmac in Des Moines. We offered “other candidate not listed” and “unsure” as options as well after filtering responses through questions to determine the likelihood of participating in a Republican caucus. We then asked this question:

If your caucus were held today, which—if any—of the following possible Republican candidates would you support?

Here are the results: (You can download an easier to read version here: Iowa-March 10 Results)

Type of Poll: Automated
Sample: 885 Likely Iowa GOP Caucus participants
Date of Poll: 3/10/201
Margin of Error: ±3.29%
BarbourDanielsGingrichHuckabeePalinPaulPawlentyRomneyTrumpOtherUncertain
All Responses2.60%1.81%13.90%20.23%14.12%4.52%3.50%13.33%9.04%6.10%10.85%
By Gender:
Female3.14%2.02%13.23%23.09%12.56%4.48%2.24%14.13%6.95%5.38%12.78%
Male2.05%1.59%14.58%17.31%15.72%4.56%4.78%12.53%11.16%6.83%8.88%
By Age Bracket:
18-2420.00%8.57%17.14%14.29%14.29%5.71%2.86%8.57%2.86%2.86%2.86%
25-345.13%2.56%12.82%23.08%12.82%2.56%7.69%7.69%5.13%12.82%7.69%
35-441.04%0%15.63%15.63%20.83%6.25%4.17%11.46%9.38%6.25%9.38%
45-540.72%2.17%10.87%17.39%21.74%4.35%4.35%10.14%13.77%4.35%10.14%
55-641.00%1.99%12.94%18.41%16.42%4.48%3.48%12.44%11.44%5.47%11.94%
65+2.66%1.33%14.89%23.67%8.51%4.26%2.66%16.49%6.91%6.65%11.97%

The rapidly shifting sands of political fortune will undoubtedly lead to some dramatic swings in the polls, but Mike Huckabee’s lead must be noted as a significant factor at this early date. Also intriguing to us is the relatively strong position Donald Trump has among this seasoned group (although count us in with the skeptics concerning whether or not he pulls the trigger on running). And Haley Barbour is surprisingly strong among the youngest demographic–a group largely responsible for creating a candidate’s mojo through social media, relentless press activity and chutzpah. Barbour’s efforts in Iowa may get very interesting…especially in this unique state where organizational prowess and energy has such a strong effect.

Naturally, the truncated list of candidates and early poll date forces us to not get too excited about the results. But our early polling the Chicago mayoral race showed an early trend that proved accurate. And the political fortunes of many candidates have been won or lost in the Great State of Iowa. We’ll keep you posted.

 

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