Monday, September 05, 2011
Confirming a surge seen in polling across the nation, Texas Governor Rick Perry has moved into first place among Republican voters in Iowa, host state to the first-in-the-nation caucus early next year.
A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of those likely to participate in the Iowa GOP Caucus shows that Perry is the first choice for 29%. Essentially tied for second are Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 18% and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 17%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul picks up 14% of the vote, and nobody else currently reaches the five percent (5%) mark. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
A month ago, before Perry officially entered the race, Bachmann and Romney were essentially tied for the lead with Perry in fourth place.
The new Iowa results are consistent with national polling which also shows Perry on top. Perry leads President Obama by three in an early look at a possible general election matchup. Other top Republican contenders are close. The president trails a generic Republican by eight.
The survey of 862 Likely Iowa Republican Caucus Participants was conducted on August 31, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Perry has the support of 45% of Tea Party voters, while Romney holds a slight 24% to 20% lead over Perry among those who are not members of the grass roots movement.
However, just 27 % of all likely Iowa caucus goers are certain of how they will vote. That leaves plenty of room for opinions to shift, particularly if new candidates enter the race. Perry has entered the race on top but has yet to face a debate or other serious campaign testing from his competitors. That will change with a large number of candidate forums scheduled during the month of September.
Eighty percent (80%) of likely Iowa caucus goers think it’s at least Somewhat Likely that the Republican nominee will defeat Obama. That includes 56% who say it’s Very Likely.