- Newt Gingrich – 32%
- Mitt Romney – 19%
- Herman Cain – 13%
- Ron Paul – 10%
- Rick Perry & Michele Bachmann – 6%
- Rick Santorum – 5%
- Jon Huntsman – 1%
This definitely proves my belief that Herman Cain was the flavor of the month. Will we see the same with Gingrich?
The magic number in this poll is 38% Just over 1/3 of likely voters are certain of their vote. So what does this poll mean? Absolutely nothing because things can still look different on January 3rd. Gingrich leads, but will he have the organization to draw voters out to Caucus for him? I seriously doubt it. Remember that we have a Caucus, not a primary so it takes some motivation (and some encouragement) for people to come out. Without a solid organization you will underperform the polls every time.
As far as Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, this weekend we have The FAMiLY Leader event. I wouldn’t be surprised to see social conservatives coalesce around a candidate soon. It could very well be one of those two candidates and both of those candidates have a better ground game in Iowa than Gingrich. The advantage that Santorum has over Bachmann is that she has peaked and is now in decline. You can say the same about Perry. Santorum’s support has been consistent, and if he does peak he’ll do so at the right time.
I believe on Caucus night Cain won’t even be in the top three, possibly not even in the top four. If Romney is in the top three (and I believe he will be) it will be from remnants of his base in 2008, and moderate Republicans who don’t want to caucus for a more conservative candidate. Ron Paul will definitely be in the top three, but I believe he’s hit a ceiling with the amount of support he’ll receive. The third spot will belong to whomever evangelicals and social conservatives rally behind. If that candidate has significant support behind them they’ll likely surge and win much like Mike Huckabee did in 2008.