Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Iowa 2012 Republican Caucus Survey

Rasmussen Iowa 2012 GOP Caucus Poll
  • Mitt Romney 25% [23%] (19%) {21%} [17%] (21%)  
  • Ron Paul 20% [18%] (10%) {10%} [14%] (16%) 
  • Newt Gingrich 17% [20%] (32%) {9%} [2%] (5%) 
  • Rick Perry 10% [10%] (6%) {7%} [29%] (12%)
  • Rick Santorum 10% [6%] (5%) {4%} [4%]
  • Michele Bachmann 6% [9%] (6%) {8%} [18%] (22%)
  • Jon Huntsman 4% [5%] (2%) {2%} [3%] (2%)
Second Choice
  • Mitt Romney 16%
  • Newt Gingrich 14%
  • Rick Santorum 14%
  • Rick Perry 13%
  • Michele Bachmann 10%
  • Ron Paul 9%
  • Jon Huntsman 4%
Survey of 750 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants was conducted December 19, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.  Results from the poll conducted December 13, 2011 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 15, 2011 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted October 19, 2011 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted August 31, 2011 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted August 4, 2011 are in parentheses.
Inside the numbers:
In Iowa, just 47% of caucus goers say they have made up their mind and are certain of how they will vote. Forty-five percent (45%) could still change their mind and the rest haven’t yet settled on a first preference. Among the smaller group of likely caucus-goers who could still change their mind, Romney is the top choice for 19%, Gingrich for 18% and Perry for 16%. In this group, 12% see Santorum as their second choice, 12% Paul, 10% Bachmann and three percent (3%) Huntsman.

Among Gingrich supporters who might change their mind, 40% name Romney as the second choice and no other candidate reaches half that total.

Those who support Romney are split primarily between Gingrich and Perry as a second choice. Ron Paul supporters who could change their mind are split between five candidates. Bachmann and Santorum supporters both have high levels of second choice support for the other.

The Iowa survey also found that 63% of likely caucus goers have a favorable opinion of Romney. Fifty-four percent (54%) say the same for Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann. When it comes to Newt Gingrich, 51% offer a positive review while 49% say the same of Ron Paul. Just 32% have a favorable view of Huntsman.

When it comes to strongly positive views, Rick Santorum is currently on top—25% offer a Very Favorable opinion of the former Pennsylvania Senator. Romney is second at 23%. Santorum may be benefitting from the fact that he never spent time as a frontrunner and hasn’t been subject to the attacks directed at other candidates.

Santorum and Romney are the only candidates whose Very Favorable ratings are higher than their Very Unfavorable numbers. For Santorum, the numbers ar 25% positive and 14% negative. Romney’s are 23% with a Very Favorable view and 11% Very Unfavorable.

Gingrich tops the Very Unfavorable category at 23% followed closely by Paul at 22%, Bachmann at 21%, and Huntsman at 20%.

It is interesting to note that two of the top three candidates in Iowa also top the list of Very Unfavorable ratings.

Among those who say they are certain to participate in the caucus, Romney and Paul are essentially even.

Romney leads with Gingrich in second among those who consider themselves Republicans. Paul has a wide lead among non-Republicans who are likely to participate in the caucuses.

Romney is now seen as the strongest candidate against President Obama by 35% of Iowa caucus-goers. Twenty-five percent (25%) see Gingrich as the strongest candidate. A week ago, the two were even in that category. Fifteen percent (15%) see Paul as the strongest candidate.

Paul is seen as the weakest candidate by 26%, Bachmann by 21%. Sixteen percent (16%) say that Gingrich would be the weakest general election candidate while only three percent (3%) hold that view of Romney.

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