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Elephants, 'RINOs' and Palin, oh my!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Primary preparation season is among us, as evidenced by a couple Public Policy Polling surveys.

The most recent PPP survey of Iowa voters has Mitt Romney leading with 21 percent followed by Sarah Palin and Herman Cain tied at 15 percent.

These numbers are interesting for a couple reasons.

Romney has only been in Iowa once thus far. However, he was not a frequent flyer to Iowa leading up to the 2008 Iowa Caucuses either and yet he finished with 25 percent of the vote -- second only to Mike Huckabee, whose "heart said no" to a 2012 presidential run. (It's fitting that Huck's heart got in the way, as he had sneaked up to steal conservatives' hearts with 34 percent of the 2008 Iowa Caucus vote.)

Most likely, those who would have voted for Huckabee are not the ones supporting Romney's initial lead in polls. While Chuck Norris' favorite candidate was viewed as a evangelical conservative, as a former Baptist minister, some conservatives view Romney as a Republican In Name Only, or RINO. Though it was once thought that Romney's Mormon religion might dissuade Iowa voters from supporting him, the election of Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Mormon from Council Bluffs, potentially proves otherwise.

Palin has yet to find her way to Iowa in 2011, but her "One Nation Tour" of historic places may do that. It is unclear which historic sites she would visit as she tries to "educate and energize Americans about our nation's founding principles in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America" -- which is the stated goal of her tour according to her SarahPAC website.

Speaking of her PAC, it was extremely active during the 2010 election cycle, as she endorsed dozens of candidates, many of whom were in early primary states and many of whom actually won.

Perhaps more Iowans are seeing her as a legitimate candidate, considering her popularity has increased by seven points over the last PPP survey six weeks ago.

Saying Cain has experienced a popularity increase would be a major understatement, considering he wasn't even included in the latest PPP survey.

He has been touting his experience turning profits with companies like Godfather's Pizza and Burger King. He's also been quoted calling himself "a real black man" that can challenge Barack Obama.

He tries to make up for his lack of political experience by pointing to the political experience of past presidents and asking, "How's that been working out?"

Tea Partiers love him and he's been "speaking at Tea Parties before it was cool," he says in his Herman Cain Train Music Video, which has had more than 35,000 views since being uploaded on Memorial Day.

How did other "elephants" fare in the PPP survey?

Newt Gingrich garnered 12 percent, followed by Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty with 11 and 10 percent, respectively.

It probably should not be a surprise that Bachmann is leading in Iowa as she is campaigning on her conservative record, while Pawlenty is more of a moderate trying to appear conservative.

Minnesota numbers are different, with 28 percent of voters there backing Pawlenty and half as many backing Bachmann. Of Minnesota Republicans, those numbers are 57 and 26 percent, respectively.

Ron Paul pulled in 8 percent of the polls, which could indicate he's on pace to improve upon the 10 percent he grabbed in the caucus 40 months ago.

Poor Jon Huntsman was supported by just one, now very scrutinized, Iowan in the poll. (That voter's views are there for everyone to see and Huffington Post has already taken a jab.) As the former Utah governor who allowed same-sex marriage on his watch, Huntsman clearly does not have a chance in 2012 Iowa Caucuses and may not show his face at all.

As of now, the most moderate candidate leads while the others are apparently fighting for support from the most conservative Iowans, which the survey says make up 41 percent of Iowa's Republican voters.

A conservative -- maybe even Cain -- will likely win over Iowa, but what are the chances that conservative could win over America?

Perhaps as slim as Huntman's current Iowa support of .00207 percent.


Comments
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The Republicans had better find themselves a better candidate than the lot listed here.

-- Posted by joev on Fri, Jun 3, 2011, at 10:15 AM

After reading the website-I am very impressed with Cain--then Palin!Any body other than Obama- PLEASE!!!

-- Posted by iowagirl on Sat, Jun 25, 2011, at 4:15 PM

Many that run do so to make $ only, knowing they have no realistic chance of being the nominee. They can't get speaking fees, sell books and collect campaign contributions if they don't stay relevant ( ie. In the news).

-- Posted by helped_myself on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 10:05 PM


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Gabe Licht
Junior Moments