Strategic Vision, LLC, a public relations and public affairs agency, announced the results of a three-day poll in Iowa of 600 likely Republican caucus goers and 600 likely Democratic caucus goers on the 2008 Presidential Election. The poll has a margin of error of ±4.5 percentage points for each Party’s presidential preference.
When Republicans were polled on whom they would support in 2008 for the Republican Presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney led with 30%; followed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 28%; Arizona Senator John McCain 16%; former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson 13%; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani 4%; Texas Congressman Ron Paul 4%; California Congressman Duncan Hunter 1%; and 4% undecided.
“The Republican race continues to be extremely close although at this point the momentum is with Mitt Romney and John McCain who is making a strong bid for third,” said David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, LLC. “Romney has made significant gains among Christian females and is leading Huckabee among male voters which demonstrate that his relentless attacks on Huckabee are paying off. Further, Huckabee appears to have been hurt with recent events in Pakistan with more Republicans saying experience in foreign affairs and handling national security are a priority for them. The battle for first will be decided by turnout and the organization of the top candidates. On the organizational front, Romney would be favored. However, while Huckabee’s negatives among voters have increased dramatically so have Romney’s.”
“The real battle is for third place,” continued Johnson. McCain is surging and is the first choice among voters who list national security or the war on terrorism as a top priority. If McCain were to finish third, it might be a bigger victory than a first place showing by either Romney or Huckabee as it would be so unexpected. McCain is the second choice of nearly 75% of the Giuliani supporters. Thompson is still in the fight for third but does not seem to be making a major impression among voters and was hurt with the renewed emphasis on Pakistan and the overall war on terror. Finally, the big question is whether Ron Paul might edge out Giuliani as his supporters are far more motivated than Giuliani’s and seem emotionally committed to their candidate while a majority of Giuliani’s also indicates they may switch their support to another candidate.”
When Republicans were asked if they viewed President Bush as a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan, 6% said yes; 73% said no; and 21% were undecided.
“The fact that such a large number of Republican voters do not view the President as a conservative in the Reagan mode, demonstrates the overall problem for the Republican Presidential candidates,” said Johnson. “How do you run as a Ronald Reagan conservative in a Party that is dissatisfied with the incumbent without offending the incumbent, or at some point does the President’s poll numbers become so low that he is no longer relevant?”
When Republicans were asked how important it was for their presidential candidate to be conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan, 58% said very important; 14% said somewhat important; 6% said not very important; 13% said not important; and 9% were undecided.
“For Republicans, the key is to be Reaganesque while at the same time defining themselves with their own imprint,” said Johnson. “At this point a day before the Caucuses, the Reagan mantle is very much up for grabs with just days remaining before the Caucuses.”
When Republicans were asked if they favored a withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months, 46% said yes; 41% said no; and 13% were undecided.
On the Democratic side, Illinois Senator Barack Obama led with 32%; followed by former North Carolina Senator John Edwards with 29%; New York Senator Hillary Clinton 27% Delaware Senator Joseph Biden received 5%; New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson 2%; Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd received 1%; Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich 1%; and 3% were undecided.
“Obama increased his lead and would appear to have some momentum going into the final full day of the race while Edwards appears poised that with his superior organization that he could still eke out a narrow victory,” said Johnson. “Clinton, surprisingly in light of events in Pakistan, lost support with a clear majority of Democrats expressing a desire for change over experience.
“Obama also leads Clinton very narrowly among female voters,” continued Johnson. “Also weighing in favor of both Edwards and Obama are when the second choice support of the second tier candidates is asked, both Edwards and Obama benefit. Clinton’s base of support in Iowa appears locked between 25% to 30% with the latter her ceiling.”
When Democrats were asked if they favored a withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months, 83% said yes; 7% said no; and 10% were undecided.
“This question poses a problem for Democratic candidates,” said Johnson. “While they must appeal to the dominant anti-war crowd, at the same time they cannot take too extreme of a position that will alienate moderate voters in the General Election. Additionally, if the surge appears to be working, they cannot appear to be advocating defeat when victory may be nearing.”
When Democratic voters were asked what they most looked for in a presidential candidate, charisma, experience, or ideology, 34% selected ideology; 33% selected charisma; 20% selected experience; and 13% were undecided.
“The problem for Clinton in this question is that the number of Democrats favoring experience continues to decline with recent events in Pakistan failing to change this,” said Johnson.
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