Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rating the Republicans in Iowa

Our early Iowa polling looks very similar to how things went in the state in 2008 and there's a reason for that: with the exception of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin voters in the state don't really know any of the new folks who they may be able to choose from in 2012 very well.

John Thune, Mitch Daniels, and Mike Pence could all make a strong impact in Iowa as fresh Midwestern faces if they end up getting into the race. But for now it's pretty much impossible to measure their potential impact because each is known to fewer than 30% of Republican voters in the state. Folks like Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Haley Barbour are all better known but they still fall under 50% with an opinion about them.

It's certainly possible that if Huckabee and Romney run again they'll finish one two in Iowa just like they did in 2008 and as our early polling shows. But it's also quite possible that one of these folks from further out in the pack who isn't very well known right now will catch fire and have a very strong impact on the race.

Here are the GOP folks we tested in rank order of how many voters had an opinion about them:


% with opinion

Favorability (spread)

Sarah Palin


60/29 (+31)

Mike Huckabee


72/16 (+56)

Mitt Romney


57/26 (+31)

Newt Gingrich


53/27 (+26)

Rudy Giuliani


49/30 (+19)

Ron Paul


47/23 (+24)

Tim Pawlenty


34/12 (+22)

Rick Santorum


28/9 (+19)

Haley Barbour


22/14 (+8)

Jim DeMint


22/10 (+12)

John Thune


20/9 (+11)

Mike Pence


16/8 (+8)

Mitch Daniels


11/11 (0)

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