One Last Iowa Caucus Poll: Ron Paul, Mitt Romney Virtually Tied…Santorum Gaining

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Iowa, Polls, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Santorum

Public Policy Polling is out with their final numbers and it’s a photo finish…

It looks like pretty much everybody has lost support in this except Santorum and Gingrich. And Santorum hasn’t had millions of dollars in negative ads lobbed his way.

Maybe that’s why his favorability numbers are so high…

Santorum’s net favorability of 60/30 makes him easily the most popular candidate in the field. No one else’s favorability exceeds 52%. He may also have more room to grow in the final 48 hours of the campaign than the other front runners: 14% of voters say he’s their second choice to 11% for Romney and only 8% for Paul. Santorum’s taken the lead with two key groups of Republican voters: with Tea Partiers he’s at 23% to 18% for Gingrich, 16% for Paul, 15% for Bachmann, and only 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he’s at 24% to 16% for Gingrich, and 15% for Paul and Romney.

A few weeks ago Gingrich was the talk of the town, but looks like he peaked too early. The only person left? Well, besides Huntsman…who doesn’t have a chance in hell. Yes, Santorum. Who is far more unelectable than Huntsman, but don’t tell the evangelicals that.

But let’s talk reality. Paul is still technically in the lead with these numbers. Does he have a shot at it? Yes, but only if non-traditional caucus-goers turn out.

For all that Paul still has a very decent chance at winning on Tuesday- it just depends on whether his unusual coalition of young voters and non-Republicans really comes out to caucus. Among actual Republican voters Paul is tied for 3rd place with Gingrich at 17%, behind Romney’s 21% and Santorum’s 19%. But with independents and Democrats who plan to vote, which we peg at 24% of the electorate, Paul leads with 30% to just 14% each for Santorum and Romney.

Newsflash for all you Paulites…remember 2008? When you thought there’d be this big surge and there wasn’t? That reminded me of 2004 when I went up to help organize for Howard Dean. Long story short…non-traditional caucus-goers don’t turn out. Especially if it’s a highly confusing system like the Iowa caucus system.

Here’s how Republicans do their caucuses in Iowa…

In the Republican caucuses, each voter officially casts his or her vote by secret ballot. Voters are presented blank sheets of paper with no candidate names on them. After listening to some campaigning for each candidate by caucus participants, they write their choices down and the Republican Party of Iowa tabulates the results at each precinct and transmits them to the media.

In 2008, some precincts used a show of hands or preprinted ballots. The non-binding results are tabulated and reported to the state party, which releases the results to the media. Delegates from the precinct caucuses go on to the county conventions, which choose delegates to the district conventions, which in turn selects delegates to the Iowa State Convention.

Thus, it is the Republican Iowa State Convention, not the precinct caucuses, which selects the ultimate delegates from Iowa to the Republican National Convention. All delegates are officially unbound from the results of the precinct caucus, although media organizations either estimate delegate numbers by estimating county convention results or simply divide them proportionally.

Got that? No? Well, don’t worry. Hardly anybody else does either.

Last, here’s a video from the Des Moines Register running down what’s going on up there…



More tomorrow!!!


This entry was posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 and is filed under Iowa, Polls, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Santorum. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “One Last Iowa Caucus Poll: Ron Paul, Mitt Romney Virtually Tied…Santorum Gaining”

  1. Paul Says:

    To me, the Iowa caucus doesn’t mean what it used to. Last time, it did not predict the candidates that eventually won as all. It really is a whole lot of hype to get a good jump out the gate for a big fizzle later on.

  2. khaki Says:

    Santorum drew the “i’m not Romney” card at just the right time – just before the Iowa vote and before the glare of the media reveals his weaknesses. Lucky him.

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