Is Ron Paul — the Republican Party’s REAL maverick — posed to win the Iowa cauces? It sounds that way. A new poll shows him within striking distance of winning and it also underscores a fact that brings bit of deja vu for those who’ve watched the Republican race: all the news in recent weeks has been about the steady ascent of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the new Anti-Romney. The poll suggests Gingrich is now starting to lose a bit of ground:

There has been some major movement in the Republican Presidential race in Iowa over the last week, with what was a 9 point lead for Newt Gingrich now all the way down to a single point. Gingrich is at 22% to 21% for Paul with Mitt Romney at 16%, Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry at 9%, Rick Santorum at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 5%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.


Gingrich has dropped 5 points in the last week and he’s also seen a significant decline in his favorability numbers. Last week he was at +31 (62/31) and he’s now dropped 19 points to +12 (52/40). The attacks on him appear to be taking a heavy toll- his support with Tea Party voters has declined from 35% to 24%.

Paul meanwhile has seen a big increase in his popularity from +14 (52/38) to +30 (61/31). There are a lot of parallels between Paul’s strength in Iowa and Barack Obama’s in 2008- he’s doing well with new voters, young voters, and non-Republican voters:

-59% of likely voters participated in the 2008 Republican caucus and they support Gingrich 26-18. But among the 41% of likely voters who are ‘new’ for 2012 Paul leads Gingrich 25-17 with Romney at 16%.

In Iowa, at least, Paul is on the ascent. The poll shows he is NOT just getting his former supporters:

Paul is doing a good job of bringing out folks who haven’t done this before.

-He’s also very strong with young voters. Among likely caucus goers under 45 Paul is up 30-16 on Gingrich. With those over 45, Gingrich leads him 26-15 with Romney at 17%.

-Among Republicans Gingrich leads Paul 25-17. But with voters who identify as Democrats or independents, 21% of the electorate in a year with no action on the Democratic side, Paul leads Gingrich 34-14 with Romney at 17%.

Of course, the question is: will those polled vote?

Young voters, independents, and folks who haven’t voted in caucuses before is an unusual coalition for a Republican candidate…the big question is whether these folks will really come out and vote…if they do, we could be in for a big upset.

Paul’s supporters are considerably more committed to him than Gingrich’s are. 77% of current Paul voters say they’re definitely going to vote for him, compared to only 54% for Gingrich. Romney has much more solid support than Gingrich as well, 67% of his voters saying they’re with him for the long haul. Among only voters who say their mind’s totally made up, 29% support Paul to 21% for Gingrich, 18% for Romney, and 11% for Bachmann.

So, yes, there are apparently some GOPers who feel strongly about their support for Romney.

Romney’s staying right in place. He was at 16% last week and he’s at 16% this week. His net favorability was a +4 spread last week and it’s a +4 spread this week. Gingrich’s support is declining in Iowa but Romney’s not gaining, just as he failed to gain when Cain and Perry and Bachmann collapsed before. One statistic that really jumps out- only 44% of Romney’s supporters from 2008 say they plan to vote for him again. If he was even just retaining all his support from last time around he’d be in the lead.

In other words: in Iowa it remains a race up for grabs — and there is a good chance Paul and his supporters will grab it.

Which would mean a whole new media narrative — even if Paul never went beyond Iowa.

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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RON BEASLEY, Assistant Editor
Member
4 years 9 months ago

With Paul’s organization and Newt’s lack there of I would see this as a real possibility.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 9 months ago

Well he’s the only one left, isn’t he? All the others have gone through the ringer and come out looking like what they are…awful candidates. Let the fun begin with this one!

Cargoman
Guest
Cargoman
4 years 9 months ago

RP says stuff that resonates but he’s truly too weird to be president

JohnJeremyVines
Guest
JohnJeremyVines
4 years 9 months ago

I’m not one of his supporters but I do think Ron Paul could indeed win at least Iowa. Thus far, he seems to be the only candidate on either side generating any real enthusiasm.
I wouldn’t bet anything of value on it but it wouldn’t surprise me, either.

bluebelle
Guest
bluebelle
4 years 9 months ago

RP has a very rabid following – but he offends many on the right who don’t cotton to his non-interventionism.

Who are all the neocons supposed to vote for? And what would the Israeli lobby think of an RP presidency- one in which he adamantly refuses form policy according to the defense needs of Israel??

This is getting better and better–

ProfElwood
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Hey, don’t worry: Trump, among others, has assured everyone that he’s not going to get the nomination, remember? Certainly you’re not going to rebuff the great Trump, are you?

Keelaay
Guest
Keelaay
4 years 9 months ago
Here is a list of past Iowa caucus winners and eventual nominees (excluding unopposed candidates): Republicans * 2008 – Mike Huckabee (McCain) * 2000 – George W. Bush (Bush) * 1996 – Bob Dole (Dole) * 1988 – Bob Dole (Bush) * 1980 – George H. W. Bush (Reagan) * 1976 – Gerald Ford (Ford) Democrats * 2008 Barack Obama (Obama) * 2004 John Kerry (Kerry) * 2000 Al Gore (Gore) * 1992 Tom Harkin (Clinton) * 1988 Dick Gephardt (Dukakis) * 1984 – Walter Mondale (Mondale) * 1980 Carter (Carter) * 1976 “Uncommitted” (Carter) * 1972 “Uncommitted” (McGovern) Simple… Read more »
hyperflow
Guest
hyperflow
4 years 9 months ago
If Paul becomes the “flavor of the month” — he could actually stick. Why? Romney cannot play the “not romney” card. Gingrich has no real support, just a hate for Obama and the chance of winning. That vision is a fog that disappears when the wind redirects. Other candidates were never worth talking about as serious contenders. Strange that Huntsman never had a moment in the sun and will be forever be ignored. he looked “presidential” from time to time, though he was always too busy begging for attention. Paul for president 2012 is a compelling, energy blast of a… Read more »
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