Huckabee, Bush Leading Iowa GOP Presidential Caucus Race, Loras College Poll Shows

The Loras College Poll released its results for the GOP presidential race Tuesday, giving an early look at how the most commonly mentioned names stack up.  Fox News TV show host and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee leads the pack followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Rand Paul.
“As of right now, the Republican presidential caucus field is wide open, with no candidate yet garnering even 15 percent support among Iowa Republicans.  Governor Huckabee and Governor Bush are the only two in double digits, with a core group of contenders such as Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Ryan and Governor Christie all right behind them and within the margin of error,” noted Christopher Budzisz, Ph.D., associate professor of politics and director of the Loras College Poll. "It is not too surprising to see potential candidates who have performed well in Iowa before, such as Governor Huckabee, at the top of the poll,” For more on today’s results, click here.
In the Republican Presidential Caucus contest, the results for first choice voter preference are:

Mike Huckabee 14.7 percent                        
Jeb Bush 10.7 percent
Rand Paul  8.5 percent
Paul Ryan  8.3 percent
Chris Christie  8.0 percent
Ted Cruz  6.2 percent
Marco Rubio  4.7 percent
Rick Santorum  4.7 percent
Scott Walker  4.7 percent
Rick Perry  3.0 percent
John Kasich  0.7 percent
Other                                          0.7 percent
Undecided 23.8 percent




"Iowans tend to reward those candidates who have spent their time in Iowa and have developed a familiarity with the state and its voters.  The caucus is something of an intimate political process relying heavily on what we call the 'retail politics' of shaking hands, diner stops and town halls,” said Budzisz.
Budzisz’s review of the survey includes the following observations:
  • Even though it’s early, only 25 percent of voters did not have a first choice candidate preference when asked to provide one.
  • Likely GOP primary voters were surveyed rather than likely caucus voters. While there is substantial overlap between these two groups, the list of caucus attendees is actually a smaller subset of the primary voter list.
  • When people were asked to provide a second choice, Bush received the largest support.
"It is interesting to see that Governor Bush's support is equally strong as a first or second choice of those surveyed.  One possibility is that he is seen as a candidate with wide appeal within the party and in the general election," said Budzisz.
The Loras College Poll will continue to monitor the caucus in the months ahead.
The inaugural Loras College Poll surveyed 600 likely Iowa GOP primary voters, creating a 4 percent margin of error.  The survey was conducted April 7-8, 2014 using telephone interviews, including both landlines and cell phones.  In addition, the survey was balanced using historical voting patterns for age, gender and geography.  The sample here is of likely 2014 primary voters and not simply of likely caucus goers (although there is much overlap between the two groups). Script development and methodology used for the survey received input from Republican campaign consultant, Steve Grubbs, and Democrat campaign consultant, Dave Heller.
The Loras College Poll will be conducted several times each year. Loras College faculty and student researchers will work with the survey research team to develop poll questions, analyze and interpret the data and assist with sharing the final results with local, regional and national media.
Capitalizing on its location in the politically vital and vibrant state of Iowa, the Iowa Presidential Caucuses will be the cornerstone of the Loras College Poll with additional surveys focused on current events, social issues, economic issues, politics and more.
The Loras College Poll will release results on important Iowa Congressional primaries on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 and the Republican gubernatorial primary as well as various issues on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

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