Rasmussen, one of the most respected national polling companies just did a poll for the Iowa GOP caucus race as it stands one week prior to the Ames Straw Poll.  The results were announced today on 630AM WMAL from our nation’s capital.  I expect the full report and details to be release over the next day or two, but here is what was announced thus far:

  • Bachmann 22%
  • Romney 21%
  • Paul 16%
  • Perry 12%
  • Pawlenty 11%
  • Although the remaining breakdown has not yet been announced, this leaves 18% split between the remaining candidates.

Another interesting finding was also announced.  As a measure of how solid a candidate’s support is, they polled those who were for sure as to who they were going to vote for, and not likely to change their mind between now and caucus day.  Ron Paul leads the field in solid support.
Compare the results of this poll to the last Iowa Caucus poll nearly one month ago from Magellan Strategies:
  • Bachmann 29%
  • Romney 16%
  • Pawlenty 8%
  • Cain 8%
  • Ginrich 5%
  • Paul 5%
  • Santorum 3%
Clearly this is great news for Paul, climbing at just the right moment, a week before the straw poll takes place.  And he has yet to experience the Rand-bump, as his tea party favorite son comes to visit at least two days this week.
Finally my personal shot in the dark prediction for the Iowa Straw Poll.  Note this is my personal prediction, not that of Caffeinated Thoughts.  It is just fun to look back on afterwards:
  • Paul 24%
  • Bachmann 22%
  • Pawlenty 17%
  • Romney 8%
  • Perry (write in) 7%
  • Santorum 7%
  • Palin (write in) 5%
  • Gingrich 5%
  • Cain 3%
  • McCotter 1%
  • Huntsman 1%
The news the next day will be spun the following way, with nearly every campaign claiming victory.
  • Paul will claim victory, and rightly so for winning, but will be largely dismissed despite the win.  A straw poll win may be indicative of his hard core supporters coming out to support him, but keep in mind that the Rasmussen Poll is of mainstream everyday Republicans not just hard core crazy supporters.  His support among mainstream Republicans is rising and he can’t be dismissed much longer.
  • Bachmann, will claim victory for exceeding expectations, even though real expectations are that she wins.  Her campaign will spin it as Paul’s support is not real, just amplified dedicated crazies, and the second place finish behind Paul is the real victor.
  • Pawlenty will claim a sense of victory, having exceeded his paltry poll numbers.  But in actuality, considering he has put everything he has figuratively and literally as his campaign cash dwindles into the Straw Poll, anything less than first is  really disappointing,.  Perry, smelling Pawlenty blood in the water, will announce within the next week and the mass exodus from the Pawlenty campaign staff to Perry will begin.
  • Santorum will also claim victory for having exceeded his poll numbers, but everyone will be able to see through this spin. I’m not sure he will be around come September, let alone caucus day.
  • Romney, Perry and Palin can each claim victory with somewhat respectable showings despite little to no perceptible effort toward the straw poll.
  • Gingrich, Cain and McCotter are the clear losers at the end of the day.  Gingrich says his campaign is still rebuilding and will predict a better showing come caucus time, and I have a feeling he will stick with it.  Cain will stick around till his new book comes out.  McCotter will move on to New Hampshire, hoping his guitar skills will be better appreciated in the granite state.
  • Huntsman nothing lost, nothing gained, sticking with New Hampshire.
UPDATE:
A fresh National Gallup Poll also shows a surging Ron Paul.  Here are the results just announced today compared with the last Gallup Poll results from 2 weeks ago:
  • Romney:      24%   (17%)  +7
  • Perry:           17%   (15%)   +2
  • Paul:             14%   (8%)     +6
  • Bachmann: 13%   (11%)   +2
  • Gingrich:       7%   (3%)     +4
  • Cain:               4%   (3%)     +1
  • Pawlenty:      3%   (2%)     +1
  • Huntsman     2%   (2%)     No Change
  • Santorum       1%   (2%)    -1
Most candidates have gained support for one of two reasons, Palin was not included on the most recent poll and more undecideds are now decided.  The Paul campaign can certainly take comfort as he breaks from the mid level candidates to join the top tier, with both Iowa and National polls showing him in third place just a week before the Straw Poll.
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