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Ron Paul Takes Lead in KCRG/Gazette/ISU Poll

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Just two weeks before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses there’s a new leader, but the race remains “remarkably fluid,” according to a new Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG poll likely Republican caucus-goers.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul has moved into first place – the fifth candidate to hold that spot since the mid-August Iowa GOP Straw Poll. The data collected between Dec. 8 and 18 suggest that unlike the previous frontrunners, Paul’s support is more solid.

Paul is the first choice of 27.5 percent of 333 likely caucus-goers among the 740 registered Republicans and 200 registered independents contacted by ISU. That’s up from 20.4 percent in an ISU/Gazette/KCRG poll in November. He’s followed closely by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich whose support increased from 4.8 percent to 25.3 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in at 17.5 percent, up from 16.3.

Ron PaulTexas Gov. Rick Perry is the only other candidate to poll in double digits at 11.2 percent – an increase from 7.9 percent a month earlier.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann slipped four-tenths of a percentage point to 7.4 percent. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Rick Santorum edged up two-tenths of a percentage point to at 4.9 percent. Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who suspended his campaign while he was the frontrunner at 24.5 percent, fell to 0.4 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman polled 0.3 percent and “can’t decide” at 5.4 percent. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

While Paul’s lead is easily within the margin of error, James McCormick, professor and chair of political science at Iowa State and coordinator of the poll, says the polling found that 51 percent of those naming the libertarian-leaning Texan as their first choice are “definitely” backing him.

The percentage for the next two candidates is much weaker, at 16.1 percent for Romney and 15.2 for Gingrich, McCormick said.

“Moreover, the percentage of respondents ‘leaning to’ or ‘still undecided’ in their support for these latter two candidates remains high, at 58 percent for Gingrich and 38 percent for Romney,” he said. “In other words, I’m going to make the case that these numbers are still very soft for those two candidates.”

His colleague, Dave Peterson, interim director of the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State and associate professor of political science who assisted with the poll, says that suggests Paul “probably under-polls.”

“His supporters are younger and more likely to reply on a cell phone, so he’s probably going to perform better than his polling suggests,” Peterson says. “His supporters also are dedicated and will likely turn out on caucus night and not change their minds.”

The ISU pollsters found the race “remarkably fluid” with 37.8 percent of respondents indicating they were still trying to decide and another 34.1 percent only leaning towards one candidate. Only 28.1 percent indicated that they had definitely decided who they would support.

“Because we surveyed the same likely caucus-goers in November, these results do indicate some movement to strengthening the commitment to a particular candidate,” McCormick said. “In November, only 16.5 percent indicated that they had definitely committed to a candidate.”

Given that uncertainty, caucus-goers’ second choice may be critical to the outcome on caucus night. While “can’t decide” was the most frequent answer — 23.7 percent, Romney and Gingrich had double-digit support, with Michele Bachmann at just over 9 percent as second choices.

Because the same individuals were surveyed in November and December, ISU pollsters were able to determine that Gingrich is the first choice of 38 percent of the former Cain supporters. Paul gets another 20 percent, Perry 14 percent and Romney 8.5 percent.

Asked to select the most important factor in motivating their support for a candidate, 32 percent of respondent said “takes a strong stand” followed by 24.7 percent saying “can win the general election” and 24.4 percent going with “has the right experience,”

Paul did well on taking strong stances and the right experience, and even better on a fourth factor: “cares about people.”

“Ron Paul doesn’t look like the typical presidential candidate,” McCormick said. “I went over to his (Dec. 8) talk at the Memorial Union and heard him and he’s sort of soft-spoken and not particularly strong on the stump. But his message is obviously connecting. Yeah he doesn’t at all look like the typical presidential candidate, so he’s the anti-Washington, anti-politician that he’s trying to portray himself — and it strikes a responsive chord among many people.”

Gingrich did well on each of the three most frequently mentioned factors, but he did the best with the experience and electable factors. Romney scored best among the respondents on the experience and electable factors, although he was behind Gingrich on both of them.

Asked to select from a list of 12 issues the most important one to them personally, the results were 35.1 percent “the jobs and economy,” 24.3 percent “the size and role of the federal government” and 21.5 percent “national debt and the deficit.”

In all, 81 percent of the respondents identified one of these three issues as most important.

The new Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG poll was compiled through phone interviews between Dec. 8 and 18, of 740 registered Republicans and 200 registered independents. Of those polled, 333 (35.4 percent) stated that they definitely or probably would attend the caucuses.

The ISU /Gazette/KCRG Poll is supported by ISU’s Department of Political Science, the Department of Statistics, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, the Office of Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; as well as The Gazette and KCRG-TV9.

Source: KCRG

10 comments

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  1. randy

    I would hope that Iowans will lead by example by ‘Thinking’ for themselves and not going along with what the establishment talking heads are telling them.

    Shatter the Left vs Right Paradigm…The Rain of Truth & the Way is flowing deep even here in NY.

    Vote for Ron Paul!!!

  2. Thomas LJ

    ” Shatter the Left vs Right Paradigm” … in exchange for a grumpy old racist who doesn’t realize the world has changed since 1800.
    He would be the worst thing that happened to the country. All of you sheep-like Paul follower need to get a life! He has ZERO chance of being president. ZERO.

    1. randy

      Thomas LJ Fears Ron Paul!

  3. Paul Andrew

    Hey Thomas been watching the news lately? There is a movement called OWS… The reason…? WE ARE SICK and big government, lying politicians, and corrupt businesses who have created an oligarchy which is destroying America. Obama has sold out and the rest of the candidates are all fake puppets. Ron Paul is the only honest one in the field and just might win. Do some research and open your eyes… Media is controlled, our government is controlled and we are passing bill after bill that is destroying American Freedom… Time to wake up sleepyhead before you will look back and say “jeez I supported those guys who destroyed our country.. Whoops”.

    Vote for Real Change – Vote for Ron Paul!

  4. Lisa

    “Vote for Real Change – Vote for Ron Paul!” Now that is laughable. Change??? He wants to set back America 150 years. This man is naive and ignorant. Luckily he has no chance to win, doubt the insanity of the sheep who follow him.

    1. Gavin

      Set back America 150 years?? Where did ya get that one from? FOX, CNN, MSNBC etc etc…

      Going back to the Constitution is what the deal is so yeah lets go back to the foundations, going away from it is going back to old Britain and King George.

      Ron Paul is more for American Blacks than so called Democrats OR Republicans, if they were pro justice then the justice system wouldn’t be heavily disproportionate and bias against them.

      Black people are seeing right through that lie from the pit of hell. ACTIONS look at Ron Pauls ACTIONS and actual recorded statements!

      They FREE Black people from the disproportionate use of the law against them. To many of them are in jail because of you folks who think that your not racist. He’s the one guy who has everybody’s back.

      Whatch alternate views from the people on the street and then get the uncontrolled truth, news is mind control period! Get your head unplugged from Bill O’Riley.

      Common, think for yourself, people that are anti -Paul get their talking points from one place…The Network. (Watch the movie?)

      This young man discerns what the deal is with the News Letters.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrM6R5fyzqA&feature=related

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHWnZv08nhw&feature=related

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CoQWAXuUyI&feature=related

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMIPTu3YdBQ&feature=related

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrM6R5fyzqA&feature=related

    2. randy

      Lisa, doing the same routine and expecting different result? you do know that they call this “insanity” right?

  5. Asim

    “He wants to set back America 150 years.” Seriously? You’re incredibly naive. Our country was founded upon strong philosophies of what great nation and its people should follow, as blueprints are to a sturdy, unwavering edifice. Over the years this philosophy has been ignored, violated, and taken for granted. Ron Paul understands this and wants to follow the “blueprints” and prevent the “edifice” from “collapsing.”

    The philosophies within our Constitution shouldn’t evolve with time or a new Presidents’ paradigms, only the way in which we apply its wisdom and insights should.

    1. Doc

      Lovely sharing of the word " stay".Yes, the best place we could ever be. Staying in God's presence.I share also thoughts that God is giving me from his word in my blsrhwillyou:earfgomme.blogopot.comHave a nice weekend!

    2. http://privatkreditcom.info/

      Absolutely right! Put it this way I would have LOVED to have won these before I bought them long ago…LOLChad Nicely invites you to read..

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