Scott Walker leads tight GOP pack in new Iowa Poll

From: and Bloomberg Politics, 1 a.m. CST February 1, 2015, by: Jennifer Jacobs, read the full article HERE.

Presidential stage newcomer Scott Walker, the conservative reform pit bull who inspired death threats from the left, has become the one to watch in the race for the Republican nomination a year out from the Iowa caucuses.

At 15 percentage points, he leads a big, tightly packed field of potential contenders in a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll of likely Republican caucusgoers. The caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 1, 2016.

The Wisconsin governor is also the No. 2 most popular choice for likely caucusgoers who want an establishment candidate, and he’s the No. 2 for those who want an anti-establishment candidate, the poll shows.

“He’s in a sweet spot,” pollster J. Ann Selzer said. “People who don’t want an ultra-conservative think he’s OK. People who don’t want a moderate think he’s OK.”

Just one point behind is Rand Paul, a U.S. senator from Kentucky and the son of three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul, a hero to dissidents who want to shake up government. Paul draws support from the same anti-establishment well.

Rounding out the top tier are Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee; Mike Huckabee, the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses; Ben Carson, a best-selling author and famed brain surgeon; and Jeb Bush, a relative to two past presidents.

The day after polling wrapped up, Romney announced he’s out of the competition. When the numbers in this poll are shuffled — by giving Romney’s votes to the contenders his supporters named as their second-choice pick — the five others in the top tier gain support.

Huckabee, a former TV commentator and two-term Arkansas governor, benefits the most, picking up 3 percentage points. The pecking order doesn’t shift, though.

For the bottom tier, the horse race ranking shifts slightly without Romney in the mix. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie moves up a notch to tie with Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for sixth place. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania stays in eighth. Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio climbs one spot into ninth, followed by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is next, followed by a three-way tie among TV star and real estate developer Donald Trump, former computer company CEO Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence doesn’t register on poll respondents’ radar.

Iowa poll 1

Sophisticated campaign operatives will now decide which candidate they have to topple for their candidate to rise — and begin targeting them with negative information, said Katie Packer Gage, a Washington, D.C.-based strategist who was deputy campaign manager for Romney in 2012.

“This is where campaigns start to matter,” Gage said. “Huckabee will go hard after Santorum. Jeb and Christie will go to war. Cruz and Paul will figure out that they have to take Carson down, then each other.”

The poll of 402 likely Republican caucusgoers was conducted Jan. 26-29 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Historically, caucusgoers have rewarded those who show up in Iowa and get involved in early activist conversations. Six months after the 2012 election, Walker gave a political speech in Iowa, then shunned 2016 activities to focus on winning re-election as governor in Wisconsin in fall 2014.

Last weekend, he made his big debut as a potential presidential contender, delivering a forceful speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit that elated the audience. Extensive national media coverage billed Walker as the best of show among nine potential candidates who spoke at the summit.

“He got a big bounce,” Selzer said.

Walker’s support has jumped 11 points since the last Iowa Poll. In October, only 4 percent of likely caucusgoers named Walker as their first choice for president.

Iowa poll 2

Meanwhile, Romney’s support in the Iowa horse race tumbled 4 points, from 17 percent to 13 percent.

The trinity of big establishment contenders all saw feelings toward them sour since the last poll. The percentage of likely caucusgoers who view Romney favorably slid 8 percentage points since October. Bush, the only one of the three who hasn’t yet come to Iowa since the 2012 election, dropped 4 points, and Christie 3 points.

At the same time, the favorability rating for Walker has climbed 11 percentage points; Carson, 9; Huckabee, 7; Cruz, 6; Santorum, 5; and Paul, 5, the new poll shows.

“The candidates perceived as more conservative are not only leading but are gaining,” GOP strategist Vin Weber, a former Minnesota congressman, noted after looking over the results.

Electability is secondary for these likely caucusgoers, the poll found.

Iowa poll 3

Sixty percent say it’s more important to vote for the person who aligns with their values, even if that candidate isn’t electable, compared with 36 percent who say winning the White House for Republicans is more important.

A majority — 51 percent of likely GOP caucusgoers — would prefer an anti-establishment candidate without a lot of ties to Washington or Wall Street who would change the way things are done and challenge conventional thinking. That compares to 43 percent who think the better leader would be a mainstream establishment candidate with executive experience who understands business and how to execute ideas, the new poll shows.

For respondents who say they want an establishment candidate, Romney is their first choice. With Romney out of the picture, Walker leads. Huckabee is next, then Bush.

Among those who want an anti-establishment candidate, Paul is the favorite, followed by Walker and Carson.

The vote share is spread thinly across the 16 contenders, but with a large field, the Iowa caucuses could be won with less than 20 percent, political strategists say.

Look at the extremes in the favorability ratings for clues about what the future might hold, Gage said.

It’s bad news for Trump: 32 percent say their opinion of him is “very” unfavorable, the worst in the bunch. Christie’s number is the next worst, with 22 percent who view him very negatively, and Bush is next, at 18 percent.

In contrast, Walker has the highest percentage saying they feel “very” positively about him — 32 percent. No one else tops 30 percent on that score.

“The passion is in the ‘very favorable’ and ‘very unfavorable,’ ” Gage said. “Everyone else is movable.”

About the poll

The Iowa Poll, conducted Jan. 26-29 for The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on phone interviews with 401 registered Iowa voters who say they definitely or probably will attend the 2016 Democratic caucuses and 402 registered voters who say they definitely or probably will attend the 2016 Republican caucuses.

Interviewers contacted 3,813 randomly selected active voters from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list by telephone. Responses were adjusted by age, sex and congressional district to reflect all active voters in the voter registration list.

Questions based on the subsamples of 401 likely Democratic caucus attendees and 402 likely Republican caucus attendees have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the percentages shown here by more than plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. Results based on smaller samples of respondents — such as by gender or age — have a larger margin of error.

Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics is prohibited.


As of today, February 2, 2015, we’re still 645 days away from the 2016 presidential election. That’s a lot of time for opposition research to smear candidates, for candidates to have one or more “oops” moments, and for all sorts of unexpected things to happen. Some will say that it’s much too early to think about an election barely under two years away.

Nevertheless, those of us who are political animals are anxious to feel the pulse of the electorate – to get some early hints about who our next presidential candidate might be, so just humor us because “enquiring minds want to know.”

I dug the old Garnet92 14-pound “crystal” ball out of its bag and peeked through one of the three viewing holes to see a vision of what’s going to happen and here is what my ball says (with Romney out of the picture):

In the “don’t have a chance” category: Paul, Huckabee, Santorum, Carson, Jindal, Trump, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina, and Pence.

The long shots: Perry, Rubio, Cruz

The favorites: Jeb Bush and Scott Walker

Jeb Bush will be the establish favorite and Scott Walker the darling of conservatives.

The ball has spoken.




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24 Responses to Scott Walker leads tight GOP pack in new Iowa Poll

  1. Liz entrekin says:

    Nice, good information. I need that crystal ball in my closet. It seems to be on the money for now. 🙂 Did you happen to ask it what to expect Before the election, like what Obama will do to attempt to assure an ascendency to dictator?

    • Garnet92 says:

      No, sorry Liz, each time I ask the “crystal” ball about Ozero, some putrid, awful-smelling stuff oozes out of the viewing holes, so I decided that it vomits whenever I mention his name – can’t blame the poor thing – I do too.

    • upaces88 says:

      These numbers are very weird. I saw a poll yesterday that showed “Ban Carson” beating out everyone easily.

      • Garnet92 says:

        The polls are all over the place upaces, have you seen the Drudge poll? That one shows 377,703 votes (when I checked) and Walker had 46%, Cruz had 14%, Paul had 12, Carson had 8 and Bush had 5%. All of the others had less.

        • Liz entrekin says:

          Unfortunately I think it is way to early to call any. AND we both have seen how demo muslim nuts manage to put the screws to even those with impressive records on Republican side.

  2. Kathy says:

    I agree with the ball, and could definitely live with a President Walker. For someone who said he was going to focus on his state and his term, he sure is coming on like gangbusters. And that’s okay too.

    • Garnet92 says:

      I could too Kathy – at least I think so. I’m gathering info to do a piece on Walker right now. His activities during his fight with the unions in Wisconsin certainly impressed me – I just thought that he didn’t appear to be impressive when delivering a speech – at least, he didn’t show that spark that it takes to fire up the masses. But, in his speech in Iowa, he did appear to really turn it on and they were impressed. We’ll see …

  3. Hardnox says:

    Excellent post.

    I like both Walker and Perry. Seems out N&F poll is way out in front of the professionals. 🙂

    • Garnet92 says:

      My thinking too Nox. As you know, I also like Perry and Cruz, but Walker has the credentials similar to what Perry had in 2012 before he screwed the pooch. I have concerns about whether he can recover from that. And Cruz is still a freshman Senator and hasn’t accumulated the skins he needs to be considered seriously. If I were gonna place a $100 bet, it’d have to be on Walker (at this time). And yes, our poll does seem to be closer to the truth than most of the crap that’s being bandied about by the “big-time” media. I don’t like Jeb at all, but the establishment and a lot of big money will be pushing him.

  4. Clyde says:

    In this order : Cruz, Walker, Perry, Jindal, and Carson. The rest can take a hike.

    • Liz entrekin says:

      Umm REALLY not certain Jindal ready for that. Hes had too many issues here. Congress no question. I could see him speaker of house or senate though

      • Garnet92 says:

        Liz, my reply to Clyde was before I saw your comment. If you live in Louisiana, tell us more. See my reply to Clyde re: my son and brother who also don’t like him.

        • Liz entrekin says:

          It isn’t that I don’t like him exactly. He has stood up for a bit more transparency and pissed off those “good ole boys” But he is too energetic in areas like state meddling in schools and not accepting that there is a way and a time to speak well or plainly. He also has been absent a lot in the last 2 years playing a presidential card rather than attending to state business. Taxes have increased as has insurance of all kinds in a poor state. Incidents like chem trails, stockpiled munitions capable of destroying over half the state, lax inspections of underground storage facilities which created an extremely tense south Louisiana situation even until today, destruction and poor oversight or planning on our natural resources (meaning allowing government to override and destroy them, the list goes on. He has made some inroads but really has taken no firm stand as well as not being instate enough to follow through. His lack of tact overseas in not having facts to back up comments is an example of his style. I DO admire him for what he has accomplished against many odds including his family’s country of origin. And I do believe he would benefit from congressional experience and maturity then if so inclined run for President. As a state, many here have created a lot of their own issues with government by actively wallowing in the need to be taken care of for past sins but there are many good people to whom work, family, principles and faith mean a great deal more than those who sponge. Drugs and gang violence are on the rise as California and points east use our state to traffic through unfortunately. He had a lot coming in to deal with as you know politics here was and is dirty same as any other state.

          • Garnet92 says:

            Thanks for that reply Liz. As a Louisiana native (and probably a lot older than you) I do remember the politics of Louisiana going back to Earl Long, Jimmie Davis, Edwin Edwards multiple times, etc. Unfortunately, Louisiana’s politics have always been some of the worst in the country.

            Wonderful people, wonderful food, great hunting and fishing, but absolutely an awful political climate. Maybe Jindal is making some headway?

            • Liz entrekin says:

              Maybe but not if you listen to general political jargon.. same anywhere. And unless you graduated college pre 1972 we are probably similar in age. I worked as a teacher and state park interpretive ranger so very familiar with certain aspects since the 1960’s

              • Garnet92 says:

                If by “general political jargon” you mean people complaining about the politics of their state, then yes, almost everyone complains about their state’s politics. But, since the days of Huey Long, Louisiana has been plagued with corruption at the top.

                Now don’t misunderstand, I get no pleasure out of bashing Louisiana, but to say that it’s the “same anywhere” just isn’t accurate. Some states have the distinction of being among the top ten in corruption – Louisiana is one of them. I give you the campaign of Edwin Edwards who is a convicted felon and yet still ran for Congress. Fortunately, he didn’t win, but still he was always a crook and was elected Governor multiple times.

                And yes, had I graduated from LSU, it would have been several years prior to 1972 (I didn’t graduate). I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Louisiana and still have family there, but I can’t deny the less-than-honorable government that has pervaded the state. I genuinely hope that Bobby Jindal will be good for the state.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Actually, that’s about my preference too Clyde, but I think that more folks will go for Walker over Cruz when all of the evidence is publicized, e.g., Walker’s performance as a Governor. I like Jindal too, but both my conservative brother and my conservative son live in Louisiana and neither of them like him????? Not exactly sure why – I need to ask for specifics.

  5. I.R. Wayright says:

    To all who would be president;
    Please remember this. The last thing you want to do in a presidential race is peak too early. You want to be in first place at the finish line. You still have a year and a half to get your message across to the people and have them get comfortable with you as the leader to vote for. Don’t travel with the rich and famous. Don’t stub your toe in the debates, and don’t get caught sleeping around. Don’t bombard us with useless sound bites and/or attack ads. Take off your suit and tie and rub elbows with us commoners, to make us think you’re one of us. Don’t think the only way to win is to out spend your opponents. You just have to out inspire them.
    There, I just saved you a million dollars in consulting fees. You’re welcome.

    • Garnet92 says:

      An astute observation I.R. Peaking too soon can be as damaging as never achieving a peak at all. Your suggestions are worthwhile and I’d like to think that some of our candidates will do those things (and not do others).

      But one of your suggestions stands out above the others – that is INSPIRE the populace. I think that’s something that we’re all looking for – a candidate that inspires us.

    • Liz entrekin says:

      Well said. And it cost them nothing in dollars ha ! Exactly Garnet. The one who can best exibit true inspiration rather than trying to impress will get my attention. But they have to be consistent, concise, well researched and articulate. In other words a Statesman. Definitely Not a known quality any so far could live up to.

      • I.R. Wayright says:

        Liz, you just described Ted Cruz. Keep your eyes and ears on him in the coming months.

        • Liz entrekin says:

          I definitely will. I watched his questioning of Lynch and was glad I wasn’t in her place. She could not reply beyond her carefully scripted speech. I kept expecting her to invoke her 5th Amendment rights at any minute. But then, none he has appointed or hired seem capable of free speech and thought so I expected no different from her.

  6. Garnet92 says:

    You can count me in on the “love me some Ted Cruz” band wagon. He is the most conservative among the possible candidates. I wish I thought that he could win. He has a better resume than Obugaboo did when HE won and IF he can INSPIRE the base voters (like Obungles did) in the coming months, he may have a chance. Like I said earlier, while my heart is with Cruz, my money has got to go on Walker.

    BTW, I researched Cruz and wrote a piece on him in September of 2013, he is impressive. Here’s a link if you’re interested.

    Who is Ted Cruz … Really?

    For example, did you know that he has tried cases before the Supreme Court NINE times? Or that Alan Dershowitz said about Cruz “Without a doubt he is among the smartest students I’ve ever had,” how about that coming from a very liberal law professor. He is also a champion debater. He is one sharp cookie!

  7. I.R. Wayright says:

    While I respect Walker and watched with great interest the happenings in his state, and the shameful display of crappy tactics of the unionized thugs, I do not believe he is going to be able to transfer that success to a national playing field. He would probably generate as much hate from the left as Sarah Palin does, if he emerges as the top candidate in a few months. I just think Ted Cruz has thicker armor and will be able to deflect criticism from the left in a way that will make folks agree with him, while pointing out the failures of the so called progressives.