Reports Public Policy Polling:
There has been some major movement in the Republican Presidential race in Iowa over the last week, with what was a 9 point lead for Newt Gingrich now all the way down to a single point. Gingrich is at 22% to 21% for Paul with Mitt Romney at 16%, Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry at 9%, Rick Santorum at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 5%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.
Gingrich has dropped 5 points in the last week and he's also seen a significant decline in his favorability numbers. Last week he was at +31 (62/31) and he's now dropped 19 points to +12 (52/40). The attacks on him appear to be taking a heavy toll- his support with Tea Party voters has declined from 35% to 24%.
Paul meanwhile has seen a big increase in his popularity from +14 (52/38) to +30 (61/31). There are a lot of parallels between Paul's strength in Iowa and Barack Obama's in 2008- he's doing well with new voters, young voters, and non-Republican voters:
-59% of likely voters participated in the 2008 Republican caucus and they support Gingrich 26-18. But among the 41% of likely voters who are 'new' for 2012 Paul leads Gingrich 25-17 with Romney at 16%. Paul is doing a good job of bringing out folks who haven't done this before.
-He's also very strong with young voters. Among likely caucus goers under 45 Paul is up 30-16 on Gingrich. With those over 45, Gingrich leads him 26-15 with Romney at 17%.
Looks like Mitt Romney has gone the way of Hillary Clinton, the establishment party pick in the 2008 Democratic Primaries:
Like the great, fallen front-runner of 2008, here is another well-funded, Establishment-blessed, presumptive nominee whose supposedly firm hold on his party’s greatest prize seems to be slip-sliding away.
There are differences to be sure, most centrally that Romney has yet to face a Barack Obama-like, central foe (though Newt Gingrich is now auditioning convincingly for that role) but instead has fought a series of rear-guard actions against a series of candidates-of-the-moment.
Right: Mitt Romney is going the way of Hillary Clinton. Wrong: Romney does face a central foe who will unseat him-- Ron Paul. The media-- including the article quoted above-- simply isn't reporting it. But it's happening.
This is going to be me watching the primary results on the news and learning that Ron Paul won the Iowa Caucus:
But I'm also ready for what Carl Wicklander predicts:
Ron Paul had one of his better debate performances and that bodes well for his showing at the Iowa Caucuses. Whereas Bachmann has faded since her win at the straw poll in August, Paul has increased his showing in the polls and may even win. If this happens it will be both good news and bad news. It will be good that a man once (and maybe still) considered a fringe candidate can win a state if he has the proper organization.
But the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary are already being treated disparagingly. People have been upset for years that two small, seemingly insignificant states have such a disproportionate influence on picking presidential candidates. If Paul actually pulls off the win the results will either be ignored or else held up as further evidence that the Iowa Caucuses need to be eliminated or moved to June so “more important” states can vote first.
It's going to be a long, hard primary. And Ron Paul is going to win.
Editor in Chief, THL
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