The results of the Iowa Poll are out, and its findings are intriguing to say the least.
Mitt Romney is still leading the way with 23 percent support, despite not making Iowa a frequent destination. However, Michele Bachman has doubled her support from 11 percent to 22 percent, taking second place from Sarah Palin, who has yet to declare any intention to run for the presidency.
Bachman's surge makes sense, in part because she declared her presidency in her hometown of Waterloo. Fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty does not have that original Iowa tie and is struggling to gain steam, despite a heavy touring schedule. His 6 percent rating trails Herman Cain, 10 percent; Newt Gingrich, 7 percent; and Ron Paul, 7 percent.
Support for Cain has seemingly cooled a bit. Some conservatives have bailed from the "Cain Train" after comments that he would appoint a qualified, openly gay person to his cabinet, followed by news that a former gay pride parade treasurer served on his campaign staff.
These individuals took issue with Cain's support of people who "promote sin." They also claim promoting that particular sin, including same-sex unions, threatens the foundation of the family.
Their stance shows up in the Iowa Poll results. Of those polled, 58 percent said a candidate's support for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples is a deal-breaker, another 13 percent said they would consider it as an issue, 27 percent saw no real problem with civil union support and 2 percent were unsure.
However, only 36 percent of those polled said messy family relationships with spouses, ex-spouses or children would be a deal breaker. Another 33 percent would consider it as an issue, while 26 percent say it is no real problem and 5 percent are not sure.
Why is disdain for civil unions so much higher than disdain for messy family relationships if families are conservatives No. 1 priority? Shouldn't a candidates example of family relationships mean more than their stance on one aspect of marriage and family?
Iowans' disapproval of civil unions, and other ultra-conservative stances, have prompted former Utah governor and ambassador to China to skip over Iowa completely. He still showed up on the poll, with just 2 percent.
Ironically, Rick Santorum has a family of seven, home-schooled children and opposes civil unions, yet only polls 2 percent higher, despite more than 20 stops in Iowa.
How can such a strong advocate for the traditional family be doing so poorly if family values are Iowan conservatives' No. 1 priority?
Hopefully that question and others will be answered as the true identity of Iowan conservatives continues to be revealed.