Rasmussen: Romney edges Paul in Iowa
Things seem to be changing fast in Iowa. As was noted yesterday with CNN’s latest poll, Rick Santorum is starting to climb in the polls and Mitt Romney is beginning to emerge as a frontrunner in the state. Although there are questions about CNN’s sample and methodology, that seems to be backed up with the latest numbers out of the state from Rasmussen:
- Mitt Romney: 23%
- Ron Paul: 22%
- Rick Santorum: 16%
- Newt Gingrich: 13%
- Rick Perry: 13%
- Michele Bachmann: 5%
- Jon Huntsman: 3%
The Washington Post explains that the two main factors behind Santorum’s surge is that social conservatives abandoned Newt Gingrich and he now had some money to run ads in the Iowa. Previously, Santorum was the most underfunded candidates in the race. But this is probably to “too little, too late” for Santorum, though a third place finish would certainly justify him staying in the race.
Romney’s steady rise in Iowa is just as interesting since he was thought to have written off the state a few months ago. It’s not necessarily what his campaign is doing in the state. What really is playing to his advantage is a fractured conservative movement.
Looking at recent national polls, the same narrative seems to be playing out. Gallup reported yesterday in its national poll that Romney has now surpassed Gingrich for the first time since daily tracking began earlier this month.
Early wins by Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire, and perhaps carrying that over for a good showing in South Carolina or Florida, could mean Romney locks the nomination quicker than most observers thought was possible.