Tags: Trump Administration | Mitt Romney | presidential race | GOP caucus | Romney | Carson | Iowa poll

Iowa Poll: Romney, Carson Top Picks for GOP 2016 Nominee

By    |   Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:37 AM

Former Republican GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who says he won't mount a third presidential campaign, came in first among potential candidates in a new Iowa poll, with retired Baltimore neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a political newcomer, coming in second place.

But overall, the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll shows that the state's Republicans are nowhere near a consensus on who to place on the ticket, The Register reported Tuesday.

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Out of 425 Republicans likely to attend the 2016 GOP caucuses, 17 percent picked Romney as their first choice for the nomination, followed by Carson, with 11 percent. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were very close behind Carson, with 10 percent of the respondents picking Paul as first choice and 9 percent for Huckabee.

The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

The field narrowed when it came to picking first or second choices. Romney came in first  when the first and second choices were combined, followed by Carson, Paul, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan each netted a combined 18 percent. Ryan was the first choice of 8 percent of the voters, but second choice for 10 percent, bumping his combined score up.

Many of the potential candidates have already been visiting Iowa, including Romney, who says he's not running but was still in the state this month to campaign for Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, reports The Register.

Many of the names in the poll were likely chosen because they are familiar political names, like Romney's. But Carson has never been a politician and has still gained national attention for his fierce opposition to Obamacare.

"I love Ben Carson," poll participant Cynthia Michel told The Register. "I like his no-nonsense thinking and his ability to say what he thinks and get his point across in a way that's not mumbo-jumbo political-speak."

Michel, 68, also likes that Carson has never held a political elective office.

"I think it would maybe be a good thing to have someone who's not schooled in the way of saying what you think people want to hear," she said.

Poll director J. Ann Seltzer said some candidates were favored more by certain factions in the party. For example, tea party supporters were likely to choose Carson and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, but Paul was popular among caucus participants under the age of 45. Women tended to choose Romney, and Ryan was favored by moderates.

Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who narrowly defeated Romney to win the Iowa caucuses in 2012, fared poorly in the poll. He was the first choice of only 3 percent and second choice of 5 percent of the participants.

He has suggested he may run again, and is planning to attend events Wednesday in Dubuque and Davenport.

The Iowa Poll was conducted on Oct. 1-7 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, and based on telephone interviews with 425 registered voters who say they definitely or probably will attend the 2016 Republican caucuses, and 426 registered Iowa voters who say they definitely or probably will attend the 2016 Democratic caucuses.

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Former Republican GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney came in first among potential candidates in a new Iowa poll, with retired Baltimore neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a political newcomer, placing second.
presidential race, GOP caucus, Romney, Carson, Iowa poll
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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:37 AM
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