Iowa Caucus

It’s the Economy, Stupid: Ron Paul Edition

Here’s something that I haven’t seen get more airtime: Ron Paul moves into top-tier in Iowa Caucuses, Now a 4-way Dead Heat:

The Iowa caucuses are just seven weeks away, but Republican voters in the nation’s first presidential nominating state seem as torn as ever over the GOP field.

A new Bloomberg poll of likely caucus participants shows a four-way tie in Iowa, with Rep. Ron Paul joining Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain in the top tier of candidates. Underscoring the uncertainty in the race, 60 percent of respondents said they could be persuaded to back someone other than their first choice for the nomination.

The poll, conducted November 10 - 12 by the West Des Moines-based firm Selzer & Co, shows Cain in the lead with 20 percent, while Paul comes in at 19 percent. Romney wins 18 percent support, and Gingrich earns 17 percent. The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

While Christian conservatives have more influence in Iowa than they do in the rest of the nation, only a quarter of likely caucus-goers say social issues are more important this year than economic issues. As many as 71 percent say they’re voting on issues like jobs and taxes.

It’s the economy, stupid, Ron Paul edition.

Four-way tie in Iowa for GOP nod (Ron Paul is a frontrunner?)

With national polls showing yet another shake-up in the race for the Republican nomination, the latest survey out of Iowa shows a four-way race among Republican caucus-goers:

Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are in a dead heat as the top choices for Iowans likely to attend the Jan. 3 Republican presidential caucuses.

A Bloomberg News poll shows Cain at 20 percent, Paul at 19 percent, Romney at 18 percent and Gingrich at 17 percent among the likely attendees with the caucuses that start the nominating contests seven weeks away.
Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, who both once were strong contenders in polls of the Republican race, have seen support plummet. Perry, who is running ads in Iowa, gets 7 percent support in the Bloomberg survey; Bachmann, who won the Iowa Straw Poll in August, is backed by 5 percent.

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who has spent the most time campaigning in Iowa, is at 3 percent. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., who isn’t competing in Iowa, is backed by 1 percent.

Paul’s quiet rise prompted National Journal to run with this headline in their coverage of the Bloomberg’s survey: “Ron Paul Emerges as Front-Runner in Iowa.” And although straw poll results don’t translate into support at the ballot box, Paul has had a good last few weeks with grassroots support. Unforunately, he continues to be treated unfairly by the media.

Why isn’t Paul a serious candidate?

Over and over again, I get told that Ron Paul isn’t a serious candidate.  After all, he’s Ron Paul.  However, Jason posted yesterday showing a recent Rasmussen poll of Iowa of voters likely to take part in the Iowa Caucus that clearly shows Paul is among the so-called top tier of candidates:

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of those likely to participate in the Iowa GOP Caucus shows that Perry is the first choice for 29%. Essentially tied for second are Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 18% and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 17%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul picks up 14% of the vote, and nobody else currently reaches the five percent (5%) mark. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

With the margin of error at on +/- 3%, Paul is clearly holding his own against everyone but Rick Perry.  However, historically, front runner status this early isn’t always an indication of later victory.  He wouldn’t be the first candidate to crash and burn later in the race.  A lot of Perry’s polling comes from being the “shiny and new” candidate, though a fair amount also comes from being a very charismatic governor.  While those drawn to his charisma aren’t likely to back down in the near future, the “shiny and new” crowd are likely to jump ship later.

Rasmussen: Perry leads in Iowa

Rassmussen released a new survey out of Iowa on Friday, their first since the Ames Straw Poll, showing Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a double-digit lead over Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

  • Rick Perry: 29%
  • Michele Bachmann: 18%
  • Mitt Romney: 17%
  • Ron Paul: 14%

According to Rasmussen, nobody else in the race polled above 5% (that info is behind a paywall and I’m reluctant to share it here), so it’s a four person race; including Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Bachmann and Romney were at 22% and 21%, respectively, in the last Rasmussen poll out of Iowa. Paul was at 16%. But there has been a shakeup in the race since then as Perry has jumped in (he polled at 12% in the last Rasmussen poll) and Tim Pawlenty has dropped out (he was at 11%).

Rasmussen: Bachmann, Romney and Paul making it close in Iowa

With the Ames Straw Poll this weekend, the most important date in the campaign at this point, candidates are feverishly fighting for position in Iowa. The latest from poll Rasmussen out of the Hawkeye State shows three candidates, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul within 6 points of each other and Rick Perry, who will finally announce that he is running on Saturday, isn’t far behind.

  • Michele Bachmann: 22%
  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Ron Paul: 16%
  • Rick Perry: 12%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 11%
  • Newt Gingrich: 5%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Other: 7%

Pawlenty is downplaying the significance of the straw poll, that is if a “credible” candidate doesn’t win; clearly a shot at Bachmann and Paul. Nevermind that he is flirting with Huntsman and Santorum for the least likely to win the nomination, that is if you pay attention to the national polling. Even Paul, for example, has a good chance of winning, it shouldn’t been passed off as a fluke; as David Boaz notes in response to George Will:

Michele Bachmann lauches another ad in Iowa

Rep. Michele Bachmann launched her third ad this week in Iowa, where she is leading the field, touting her voting against the debt ceiling, knocking President Barack Obama’s economic policies and encouraging Iowa Republicans to support her at the Ames Straw Poll, arguably the most important event for campaigns in this early stage of the race.

The ad comes just over a week before the straw poll, which will be held at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, August 13th:

Will Ron Paul impress in Ames?

We’re coming up quickly on the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday, August 13th, arguably the most important event for these presidential hopefuls yet (or at least the ones actively campaigning in Iowa). It looks like Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) may be candidate to beat there right now, according to the National Review:

The Paul campaign has aggressively laid the groundwork for an impressive showing at Ames, including buying the priciest (and best) location by the arena where the straw poll is held for $31,000. In a fundraising letter last month, Paul wrote, “I’m counting on you to help me send shockwaves throughout the national political establishment with a strong finish at the Iowa Straw Poll.” His “Ready, Fire, Ames” appeal resonated: The campaign raked in $600,000. The Paul campaign is running TV ads, and Paul himself has been actively campaigning in Iowa.

Earlier this week in Iowa, he openly speculated about winning at Ames. “I wished I could say I’m the frontrunner and nobody’s ahead of me and it’s a shoo-in. But the truth is that we can do and will do very, very well and hopefully come in first,” Paul said, according to Radio Iowa.

Drew Ivers, Iowa chairman of the Paul campaign, is cautiously optimistic. “All things are possible,” he says of a first-place finish at Ames. But he is also realistic, pointing out that while Paul has had significant poll movement (an American Research Group July poll showed Paul at 14 percent, up from the 3 percent he had in April), Bachmann has had even more movement (in the same poll, Bachmann went from 9 percent in April to 21 percent in July).

Ron Paul nabs an important endorsement in Iowa

With the Ames Straw Poll fast approaching, every candidate is looking to gain ground in any way possible. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) managed to pick up the endorsement of Cory Adams, chairman of the Story County Republican Party:

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has fresh bragging rights after picking up what is surely a coveted endorsement on Monday.

Cory Adams - the Republican chairman of Story County in Iowa – endorsed the Texas congressman’s presidential bid at a campaign event in Ames, Iowa.

That’s significant for a few reasons. Ames is the largest city in Story County, home to over 50,000 residents. And it is in this city that a widely-watched showdown between the GOP presidential candidates will play out on August 13. The Ames Straw Poll will test the candidates’ popularity and could be a sign of their electability.
Adams explained to CNN the rationale behind his endorsement of Paul.

“I try to go for the candidates that line up mostly with the values, the principles of the [nation’s] founders,” Adams said. “Out of all the candidates in this cycle, I found Ron Paul to be the one with the longest, most consistent voting record to back up those principles and concepts.”

How might Adams’ endorsement help Paul with voters?

Adams explained: “Back in 2008 there were a lot of people within the Republican Party that kind of disregarded Congressman Paul. And basically didn’t just count him in and/or wouldn’t even mention him. So when you can have a county chair who is part of the Republican Party, part of the establishment and support him, it gives him more credibility within the party and brings him back from the fringe.”

Another poll in Iowa shows Bachmann leading, national viability remains a big question

While I’m not convinced Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s biggest threat to the Republican nomination, she continues to show that she may steal the show in Iowa. According to yet another poll out of the Hawkeye State - this one conducted by American Research Group, Bachmann leads Romney by a small margin among likely caucus-goers.

  • Michele Bachmann: 21%
  • Mitt Romney: 18%
  • Ron Paul: 14%
  • Sarah Palin: 11%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Rick Santorum: 5%
  • Jon Huntsman: 3%
  • Herman Cain: 2%
  • Rudy Giuliani: 2%
  • Tim Pawlenty:
  • Other: 2:
  • Undecided: 10%

The poll also notes:

Bachmann leads Romney 25% to 17% among registered Republicans. Bachmann leads Romney 25% to 17% among those saying they will definitely participate in the 2012 Republican caucus. And Bachmann leads Romney 30% to 7% among those saying they are supporters of the Tea Party.

Ron Paul leads Romney 24% to 23% among no party (independent) voters, with Sarah Palin at 15% and Bachmann at 2%. Paul leads Romney 22% to 20% among probable caucus goers, with Bachmann at 14% and Palin at 12%.

Romney leads Bachmann 31% to 11% among likely caucus goers saying they are not Tea Party supporters or are undecided about the Tea Party.

A new national poll from Quinnipiac shows Bachmann picking up steam as well, though that doesn’t come a surprise. We haven’t paid much attention to national polls lately, but given how the field is shaping up, here is a look at how Republican voters are going.

Bachmann pulls ahead in Iowa

At the end of last month, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were in a statistical tie in Iowa. But a new poll from the Des Moines Register shows Bachmann with a slight lead - though still within the margin of error, a month ahead of the Ames Straw Poll.

  • Michele Bachmann: 25%
  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 9%
  • Herman Cain: 9%
  • Ron Paul: 6%
  • Newt Gingrich: 4%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%

The poll shows that 76% of Republicans in Iowa have a favorable view of Bachmann, 66% are favorable of Romney. Gingrich, however, doesn’t fare so well as 52% have an unfavorable view of him; by far the worst in the poll.

Pawlenty, who is viewed favorably by 60% of Iowa Republicans, saw a bump from the last poll. This state is where many observers feel he has to make a stand in order to even stay in the race. That’s likely why he lobbed a shots against Bachmann over the weekend, noting that she has no real record of accomplishment.

This isn’t important just because Pawlenty is knocking a rival, but also because if Bachmann can’t pull ahead of Romney, she may decide to run for re-election in what has been a fairly competitive district. Those comments could become fodder by a Democratic opponent.

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