Even with Herman Cain leading the current Iowa Poll (23%) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney behind by one point (22%), the Caucus is still wide open. The magic number is 59. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed can be persuaded to vote for a different candidate. Compariing Romney with the other candidates he has the “hardest” support as he leads with voters whose minds are made up.
The problem for him I believe is that his numbers are capped. Jennifer Jacobs also pointed out that he has other vulnerabilities:
The former Massachusetts governor earns the support of just 10 percent of those who say they definitely plan to vote in the caucuses (Cain is at 27 percent). And Cain dominates Romney among those who identify themselves as very conservative, by more than 3 to 1…
…another factor favoring Cain over Romney: More than half of likely caucusgoers think a representative of the core conservative base can win the White House in 2012. Only a third see a need to select a more moderate candidate with appeal to independents.
Cain leads in several areas which perplex me – the most conservative voters, tea party supporters and born-again Christians. Does he also lead among those who seem to lack discernment as well? It seems to me that Cain is the candidate du jour and he is leading because he’s extremely likeable.
Let me be clear here. Leading a poll is one thing, but turning out people on Caucus night is quite another. He lacks the organization (and apparently the desire – where is he?) to win here. Look for Cain to start to decline in the polls, especially with upcoming debates as candidates will go after his statements on abortion.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul is in good shape at third with 12% his RCP average is 11.2%. I don’t believe he’ll win, but I can definitely see him coming in a strong third perhaps even 2nd. He’s my favorite for a blizzard caucus. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is in 4th at 8%, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Speaker Newt Gingrich are tied for 5th at 7%, and former Senator Rick Santorum is 6th at 5%. Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is last at 1%.
Can Bachmann and Perry who were previous frontrunners in Iowa recapture some momentum? It’s going to be extremely difficult. Bachmann recently made Eric Woolson her Iowa Campaign Manager. Woolson ran former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s Iowa campaign in 2008, so this was a key hire. I just wonder if it is too late. We’ll see if Perry’s flat tax plan catches on. Gingrich has been impressive in the debates and also impressed at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Presidential forum, but he just doesn’t have a campaign apparatus. Santorum is at what I’m sure is a disappointing 5%, but he’s been campaigning hard. He also has debated well, he articuates the issues well, and with soft support that exists with the other candidates he could sway people.
The Caucus season is on, and Iowans are paying attention. Don’t be surprised to see a different front runner by December. With the Iowa GOP Reagan Dinner this Friday, and The FAMiLY Leader Presidential Forum later next month things can change considerably.