Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Poll Watch: Iowa GOP 2012 Survey on Ethanol Subsidies Iowa GOP 2012 Survey on Ethanol Subsidies

Some of the candidates have proposed to end federal subsidies for ethanol. Do you have a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative reaction to candidates taking this position?
  • Very positive 23%
  • Somewhat positive 24%
  • Somewhat negative 15%
  • Very negative 10%
  • Doesn't matter 21%
Which would you be more likely to support, a candidate who supports ethanol subsidies because they are important to the Iowa economy, or a candidate who opposes them because they want to get spending under control?
  • Supports ethanol subsidies 31%
  • Opposes ethanol subsidies 56%
Who would you vote for between a candidate who you might not agree with on every issue but who has the best chance of beating Barack Obama, or someone who is the closest to your views on the issues, but who might not have a good chance of beating Barack Obama?
  • Someone who can beat Obama 61%
  • Someone who is closest to my views 32%
Survey of 500 likely caucus goers was conducted by Voter/Consumer Research June 26-30, 2011. The margin of error is ± 4.4 percentage points.

Inside the numbers:
When respondents were asked which of a list of issues was the most important to them, 46% said jobs & the economy and 31% said cutting spending. These were far and away the top answers by likely caucus goers. Only two percent of those surveyed mentioned ethanol, the lowest of any of the 10 issues that were presented to the poll’s participants. 
The poll finds that, the more conservative caucus goers are and the more attention they pay to the 2012 race, the more likely they are to support a candidate who wants to end ethanol subsidies. Yet, even among people who depend on agriculture for 25% or more of their income, the issue is a split decision. People in this group are as likely to say that they will support a candidate who says he or she will end ethanol subsidies as a candidate to pledges to continue them.

Every candidate who registered significant support in the poll has supporters who oppose ethanol subsidies by a substantial margin. In most cases, the margin between a candidate’s supporters who opposed ethanol subsidies and those who support them ranged from 25 points to 61 points. Romney’s margin was only five points.

The poll’s crosstabs suggest that the people with the greatest desire to beat President Obama are generally older. Both men and women over the age of 55 put a preference on backing a candidate who they believe can beat Obama. This is also the case with individuals who say they are already paying a lot of attention to the 2012 presidential race.

Straight ticket Republican voters, as well as “very” and “somewhat” conservative voters, are more likely to hold this position than moderate Republicans the poll finds. Fiscal conservatives, those who mentioned either taxes or spending as their top concerns, also show a healthy appetite for limiting Obama to one-term as president.

The survey finds that the desire to beat the president is greater with fiscal conservatives than it is with social conservatives. However, even among social conservatives, which we defined as being those who mentioned social issues as their top voting issues, 53 percent feel it is more important to beat the president, while 40 percent feel it is more important to support a candidate that they agree with on the issues.

When asked who they would support between a candidate who is closest to their views on major issues, but has not spent much time campaigning in the state, and a candidate who might not be closest to their views, but has spent a lot of time in the state, 79 percent said they would back a candidate who shares their views even if he or she was not often in Iowa asking for their support.

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