Iowa’s in Play: Obama Trails Three Potential GOP Rivals in Latest Iowa Poll



“Iowa is not a secure state for Obama.”  Those are words I’m sure President Obama’s reelection team would rather not hear from pollster J. Ann Selzer who is well known for her accurate polling in Iowa contests.  The Des Moines Register released late Saturday night the first head to head prospective general election polling in Iowa.

It’s horrible news for Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich.  Three of the four remaining GOP contenders beat President Barack Obama head to head.  Texas Congressman Ron Paul logs the biggest margin leading by 7 points (49% to 42%).  Rick Santorum leads Obama by four points (48% to 44%), and Mitt Romney leads by 2 points (46% to 44%).  Newt Gingrich is the only candidate not to lead President Obama.  He trails Obama by 14 points (37% to 51%).

President Obama only has a 46% approval rating, one above his lowest point in Iowa.  Gallup’s daily tracking of the President’s national approval rating gave him a 45% weekly average from last week.  They note since 1964, when they started keeping track, that there has been no President who has won reelection with a approval rating under 49%.  Today his approval rating is at 44%.

In Iowa looking at the unfavorable rating, Romney ties Obama at 51%, Gingrich has a 65% unfavorable rating, Ron Paul has a 41% unfavorable rating, and Rick Santorum has the lowest unfavorable rating at 33%.  There were more “unsures” about Santorum and Paul however so their favorable and unfavorable ratings could change significantly in an election.  19% said they were unsure about Santorum, 17% said they were unsure about Paul.  Only 3% said they were unsure about Obama, 10% for Romney, and 11% for Gingrich.  Santorum leads the field with his approval rating at 48%.  Gingrich had the lowest at 24%.  Mitt Romney’s was only at 39%, and Ron Paul’s was at 42%.  President Obama’s favorable rating is at 36%.

I’m not surprised by this development with the Iowa Caucus having just took place.  Also Iowa has swung to the left and the right in Presidential elections.  In 2000 Iowans picked Al Gore, in 2004 they went for George W. Bush.  In 2008 Obama won Iowa easily.  It’s all in the independent vote, and that is where he has problems, nationally at least, last week having a 42% approval rating with Gallup.  In this recent Iowa Poll, independents were the largest group surveyed making up 41% of the sample pool.

So if the independents in Iowa are unhappy it doesn’t look good for Obama.

This also is bad news for Newt Gingrich.  His narrative that he is the only one who can go head to head with Obama is shattered.  His favorability is in the tank.  This further proves that he is the worst nominee we could have run against Obama.  Mr. Speaker, if you do poorly in Ohio and Arizona, it’s time to exit the race.  Mitt Romney can’t be happy with this news either as he had the monopoly on the “electability” argument.  No longer.

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  1. says

    They note since 1964, when they started keeping track, that there has been no President who has won reelection with a approval rating under 49%.  Today his approval rating is at 44%.

    Does that mean right before the election (i.e., a week or so), I wonder?  I clicked on the link, but I didn’t see any specifics about that.

    I’m not a huge fan of polling, but it does have some usefulness.  As you pointed out, the latest trends tell us basically two things:  

    1) Santorum, Romney, and Paul would all stand a decent chance against Obama, but Gingrich wouldn’t.

    2) Obama is definitely beatable.

    I think it will mainly come down to the economy, not ideology, as long as Gingrich isn’t picked.  😉  Actually, I suspect he’ll be out soon after Super Tuesday.