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Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Guest Contributor, Politics | 7 comments

Ron Paul, Mitt Romney & Rick Santorum Headed for Photo Finish in Iowa Caucus

Latest poll results show Ron Paul leading at 20%, Mitt Romney 19% and Rick Santorum at 18% in a dead heat, as Newt Gingrich fades fast, in home stretch for lily-white Iowa caucus.

Iowa Caucus Heading to Photo Finish with Ron Paul, Mitt Romney & Rick Santorum Leading the Pack (Public Policy Polling)

The latest Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa shows the three leading contenders all within two points or less of each other — Ron Paul leads at 20%, followed by Mitt Romney at 19%, and Rick Santorum at 18%.  The other candidates: Newt Gingrich at 14%, Rick Perry at 10%, Michele Bachmann at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 2%. Is Iowa truly representative of America? Iowa is lily white and the caucus shouldn’t be used as a barometer for the rest of America. The state doesn’t accurately represent the diversity in this great country. In fact, Iowa is as white as the National Hockey League with a low percentage of black, Latino and Asian players. This is a state where 2.9% of the people are African-American, and 5% of the people are Hispanic. This is all about the right wing evangelicals being happy with a particular candidate, who happens to be Rick Santorum in this cycle. For the record, Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton there, but I would attribute that to the polarizing Clinton persona and not because they embraced diversity.

It’s actually a little scary that Rick Santorum, a longshot for the presidency, could see such a meteoric rise in the polls. He moved up eight points since the last PPP poll. He gained from Newt Gingrich implosion and a softening of Ron Paul’s numbers. The social evangelicals are running to Rick Santorum, but this guy was a senator who was rejected by voters in the last election. He claims it was because the Republicans had hit a rough patch during that time. Well, if he was as good as he says he is, then he should have won reelection easily. It seems the Republicans are in a tizzy because they just can’t rally around one candidate at this point because each one is flawed in some way. For what it’s worth, Mitt Romney’s numbers have remained constant but the others have risen and fallen as they continue to play musical chairs.

Among voters who say they decided who to vote for in the last seven days Rick Santorum leads Romney 29-17 with Paul and Gingrich both at 13.

[….]

Santorum’s net favorability of 60/30 makes him easily the most popular candidate in the field. No one else’s favorability exceeds 52%.  He may also have more room to grow in the final 48 hours of the campaign than the other front runners: 14% of voters say he’s their second choice to 11% for Romney and only 8% for Paul. Santorum’s taken the lead with two key groups of Republican voters: with Tea Partiers he’s at 23% to 18% for Gingrich, 16% for Paul, 15% for Bachmann, and only 12% for Romney.  And with Evangelicals he’s at 24% to 16% for Gingrich, and 15% for Paul and Romney. Source

In reality, winning the Iowa caucus doesn’t necessarily translate into a win for the White House. Mike Huckabee won during the 2008 election campaign and John McCain went on to become the nominee. It’s just further proof that these caucuses are a ridiculous way to choose a candidate. We all know Ron Paul, with  all his radical ideas, will not be the GOP nominee. Donkeys would fly first. My bet is that Mitt Romney will secure the GOP presidential nomination or Jon Huntsman will become the nominee by an act of God. This Rick Santorum surge is not for real. He cannot sustain this momentum. That record of accomplishment he brags about is very flimsy and he manages to negate all that with crazy statements such as bombing Iran’s nuclear sites, saying no to same sex marriage and repealing the right for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Sorry, but I am not convinced Iowa should be used as a barometer for who will be the GOP presidential nominee.

This article was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette