Mitt Romney and Herman Cain pull off a statistical tie for first place in what is only the second statewide poll of the Republican presidential field to have been commissioned by the Iowa’s leading newspaper, The Des Moines Register. The poll which took place from October 23rd, to 26th, was conducted for the Register by Selzer & Co. ,who interviewed 400 likely Iowa caucus goers and has a large margin of error that is anywhere between 4 and 9 percentage points.
The Iowa Poll was conducted Oct. 23 to 26 for The Des Moines Register by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. The poll is based on telephone interviews with 400 likely Republican . The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
Complete results were as follows:
- Herman Cain – 23%
- Mitt Romney -22%
- Ron Paul -12%
- Michele Bachmann – 8%
- Newt Gingrich – 7%
- Rick Perry – 7%
- Rick Santorum – 5%
- Jon Huntsman – 1%
The last poll conducted by the Des Moines Register was back in June and it with the exception of Mitt Romney’s numbers, showed results that were quite different from today’s. Cain who was in third place at that tim, has now surged 13 full percentage points. and Michele Bachmann who had not yet officially kicked off her campaign, had 22% of the vote.
Others differences from the June poll to this October poll are the inclusion of Rick Perry who was not yet a candidate at that time, and the exclusion of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty who was but dropped out a day after he placed a distant third in the Ames Straw Poll.
While Herman Cain is a big winner in this picture of this particular moment in time, Mitt Romney’s second place showing g may actually make him the real winner.
Mitt has only campaigned in Iowa three times, and for him to maintain what is essentially the same amount of support that he had in June, says much for his chances in a state that he once wrote off. This could easily change though. Romney’s numbers may be more a sign of an influential evangelical vote that is divided between Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Rick Perry. If that is the case, it is confirmation of the fact that a large field of candidates who are considered more conservative than Romney, is the surest way for Romney to win the nomination.
These numbers also give Romney’s campaign reason to reconsider his lack of attention to Iowa
After spending over $10 million on the state in his 2008 presidential race and finishing first in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll but losing the Caucuses to Mike Huckabee, Romney has been ready to downplay Iowa and focus on places like South Carolina and Florida. Adding to the effectiveness of that strategy was the fact that despite Huckabee’s win in Iowa, he lost the nomination to John McCain.
However, now that Romney seems to remain quite competitive in Iowa despite his lack of presence in the state, Romney may see the possibility to wrap up the nomination early by pulling off victories in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Such a scenario would give Mitt a degree of momentum that he was not anticipating going into the critical South carolina and Florida.
The two biggest losers in this poll are by far Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry.
Both candidates had seen great enthusiasm and high numbers in Iowa, but now, with less than 9 weeks before the caucuses take place, support for the two has been moving in the wrong direction and plummeted. That does bode well for either of them because a win in Iowa is much more critical to Bachmann and Perry’s campaigns than they are for Romney.
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