GOP 2012 in Iowa
by Jerome Armstrong, Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 09:57:06 AM EST
A blog called the RightOsphere conducted a poll in Iowa among Republican caucus-goers, finding:
Among a subset of voters who indicated that they were certain to vote in the 2012 Republican Caucuses, the results were: Huckabee 21%, Romney 14%, Palin 12%, Pawlenty 1%, with 52% undecided. ...The only other candidate that the survey included was former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Johnson received less than 1% support.
The Iowa Republican pretty much favors Huckabee:
Mike Huckabee is the only 2008 candidate who has maintained a presence in the state. He has also made more trips to Iowa since the 2008 caucuses than any other presidential hopeful. He has visited the state two different times to sell books, and he has also traveled to the state to support Bob Vander Plaats’ campaign for governor. Vander Plaats served as Huckabee’s campaign chairman in Iowa.
...Iowa, however, will not be an easy place for Romney to campaign. Doug Gross, his 2008 Iowa Chairman, seems to have gone sour on Romney. He also has a hostile relationship with Jan Mickelson and Steve Deace on WHO radio, Iowa’s only statewide media outlet. For Romney to be able to come into Iowa and run for president again, he will have to walk a delicate line of focusing on the fiscal conservative that he is comfortable talking about, while remaining the social conservative he told Iowans he was in 2008. If he is unable or incapable of doing that, Iowa will haunt his second attempt at the presidency.
Sarah Palin remains a mystery. Many believe that, if she did have presidential aspirations, she would have made a splash in Iowa by now. Regardless of what people think of Palin, she is incredibly popular and would have tremendous appeal to caucus goers. Her third place finish in this poll is surprising and probably not reflective of the support she would receive if she did run.
The candidates that should be the most excited about these polling numbers are people like Tim Pawlenty and the others who were not polled. With 57% of likely caucus voters undecided, there is plenty of room for candidates to come to Iowa and stake their claim. One such candidate is former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, who will headline an event tonight for the Iowa Christian Alliance in Des Moines.
Rick Santorum? Huckabee is not nearly as in a strong position, as say John Edwards was in, at this point in the '08 cycle (in the 40's) for Democrats, given he won in '08 for the Republicans.
I would think there's an argument to be made by Romney's campaign that he skips Iowa and lets the evangelical side (Huckabee, Palin?, Santorum??) duke it out. But, no doubt, Romney is most afraid of some other candidate emerging, so that's not a decision that's going to be made anytime soon.
The poll didn't include Ron Paul, who hasn't indicated if he will run or not in '12, which is probably complicating the task of Gary Johnson (good interview with the Tea Party champion) making any traction.
Its still wide open, still too early, but that's the snapshot.