Game Changer in Iowa? Paul Gains Substantial Lead in Two Polls


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Presidential Nomination Race: Does National Sentiment Mirror Iowa?

Iowa results can influence future elections. Photo Credit: National Atlas of the United States

Historical trends are mixed regarding the frequency with which Iowa victors go on to win national presidential nominations. Being the first official polls of the election year, the Iowa Caucuses are often used to assess enthusiasm for candidates, but early predictions do not always stand up to changes in opinion  that may come up later. For example, in 2008, when there was no incumbent president, Barack Obama won the Democratic Iowa Caucus and went on to secure his party’s nomination, and the presidency. The same year, Mike Huckabee won the Republican Iowa Caucus, but was defeated in subsequent primaries by John McCain, and was not the GOP presidential contender.

Iowa Polls vs. Nationwide GOP Polling

At the moment, data from polls of national Republicans is similar to data from polls of Iowa Republicans, in that Gingrich appears to be on a downward trend. However, Romney seems to be the main benefactor in national polls, as he is currently either tied with Gingrich, or close to tying him, in the two major national polls released since December 13.  A national surge for Paul remains to be seen, although his favorability seems to be increasing; the two most recent polls put him at more than 10 points behind Romney and Gingrich nationally.


Insider Advantage. December 18 Iowa Poll. Accessed December 20, 2011.

Public Policy Polling.  Paul Takes Lead as Gingrich Collapses in Iowa. Accessed December 20, 2011.

Majority Opinion Research. Data Collection. Accessed December 20, 2011.

RealClearPolitics. Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus. 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination. Accessed December 20, 2011.

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