Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Bloomberg/Des Moines Register Poll: Walker Leads crowded GOP Field

A new poll conducted by Bloomberg News and the Des Moines Register shows just how wide the GOP field of candidates for 2016 really is...

A few stats to keep in mind when reading the results of this poll:

  • 402 Iowans participated in the GOP side of this poll.
  • Those polled are "likely caucus-goers", meaning they are folks likely to participate in the Iowa Caucus this time next year. 
  • Poll was conducted between 26-29 January.

The big "winner" of the GOP side of the poll is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, being the first choice of 15% of those polled. Given his recent performance at the "Freedom Summit" held by Iowa Congressman Steve King earlier this week, this results points to Walker getting his message across to those who walked the summit or followed it in conservative media.

Other solid "honorable mentions" include Senator Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee (who remains quite popular in Iowa even today, 7 years after his caucus win in the 2008).

Also of interest is that Mitt Romney, who quite publicly withdrew from the GOP field yesterday, was the first choice of 13% of those polled. Not bad for a candidate who lost in the Iowa caucus the last two election cycles (though only by a hair this last time around). With his exit, that puts a lot of points up for grabs.

Me being something of a numbers-guys (my day job), I wanted to see the actual poll results for myself to see if there any other interesting tidbits that didn't make it in Bloomberg's article, and sure enough I did.

Here are a few of these "tidbits":

  • Among the likely Democratic caucus-goers, when asked if the GOP did win the White House in 2016, which of their candidates would be the best leaders, Chris Christie (20%), Jeb Bush (19%) and Mitt Romney (15%) came out on top.
  • Mike Huckabee has the highest overall favorable-rating of the GOP field at 66%, with Rand Paul (64%), Rick Perry (64%), and Scott Walker (60%)  right behind him.
  • However, Scott Walker has the highest "Very Favorable" rating by those polled at 32%.
  • Of the much-talked candidates in the media, Jeb Bush and Christie are definitely struggling, with favorable-rating below 50% (46% and 36% respectively).
  • On a personally satisfying note, waste-of-oxygen Donald Trump received an overall favorable-rating of just 26% (good to see I'm in good company with my fellow Iowans).
  • When you take Mitt Romney out of the race, the poll does not show any one candidate getting a large boost in overall support. 

We are roughly one year away from the Iowa Caucuses and as political "veterans" and Iowans well know, what the GOP field looks like today could change is the blink of an eye.

For the moment though, Governor Scott Walker is probably feeling pretty good about his efforts for far...

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