Rick Santorum speaking at CPAC
Rick Santorum speaking at CPAC on March 7, 2014. Photo credit: Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

Former U.S. Senator and 2012 Iowa Caucus winner Rick Santorum won our presidential preference poll.  The online poll was open over Labor Day weekend and had 236 Republican participants.  As with any poll we conduct on the website this is not a scientific poll so it shouldn’t be discussed or treated as such.  Our polls typically have greater participation than this (the Iowa Politics poll conducted in April had over 600 participants) so I was a little disappointed, but not surprised with it being a holiday weekend.

Santorum lead every day the poll was open (over 30%), but U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) surged in the last day to come in just two-and-a-half points behind Santorum.  The final results:

  1. Rick Santorum – 24.1%
  2. Rand Paul – 21.6%
  3. Ted Cruz – 18.2%
  4. Rick Perry – 11.9%
  5. Ben Carson – 6.8%
  6. Mike Huckabee – 6.4%
  7. Scott Walker – 4.2%
  8. Bobby Jindal – 3.0%
  9. Paul Ryan – 1.2%
  10. Chris Christie – 0.8%
  11. (Tie) Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio – .4%

Less than 1% chose “other.”

52.5% of our participants indicated that they live in Iowa.  Among the Iowa participants, however, Rand Paul won and Santorum fell to fourth place.  The final results among Iowa participants was:

  1. Rand Paul – 27.4%
  2. Ted Cruz – 23.4%
  3. Rick Perry – 13.0%
  4. Rick Santorum – 8.9%
  5. Mike Huckabee – 8.0%
  6. (Tie) Scott Walker & Ben Carson – 4.8%
  7. Bobby Jindal – 4.0%
  8. Chris Christie – 1.6%
  9. (Tie) Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan & Marco Rubio – 0.8%

55.5% of our Republican participants are male, 44.5% female.

Age breakdown – 18-25 (8.0%), 26-34 (14.8%), 35-44 (21.6%), 44-54 (25.8%), 55-64 (22.4%), and 65+ (7.2%).

Not surprisingly the vast majority of our participants are Christian.  57.6% identified themselves as evangelical, 18.6% identified themselves as Catholic, and 14.4% said they belonged to a mainline Protestant church.

77.1% said they are conservative, 18.2% identified themselves as Libertarian, and 2.5% identified themselves as moderate.

Rand Paul led among male participants with over 28% saying they favored the junior Senator from Kentucky.  Santorum led among women with 37% favoring the 2012 Iowa Caucus winner.  Paul edged out Santorum among 18-25 year-olds.  Paul won among 26-34 year-olds.  U.S. Senator Ted Cruz led the 35-44 age bracket.  Santorum led among 45-54 year-olds and 55-64-year-olds.  Participants 65-years-old or older favored Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Cruz edged out Santorum among evangelicals by 1.5 points.  Santorum led among Catholics with 54.5% favoring him.  Paul led among those who attend a mainline protestant church.  Santorum led among self-identified Conservatives with 30.7%.  Paul, unsurprisingly, led among self-identified libertarians with 69.7%.

Some surprises for me with this poll.  1.  2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee polled really low, even among Iowans.  Among my readers I thought he would have a higher percentage, especially among Iowans.  2.  Santorum’s performance among Iowans.  Like Huckabee, I had expected Santorum to poll better in Iowa.  Had it not been for out-of-state support Paul would have won this poll.  It would seem that Iowa Republican participants of this poll definitely want someone who is of the tea party/limited government brand.  3.  I had expected Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to poll better than what he did, but if my reader participants are any indication he has a lot of work to the base of the party.

No surprise – Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan are not popular with my readership.  If this poll is any indication Rand Paul has a broader base of support than what his father enjoyed.  Also the prospective candidate to watch – Ben Carson.

We’ll plan to do another poll this winter.

8 comments
  1. Either Santorum or Cruz for President. Santorum’s speech against excessive third world immigration in Iowa was extraordinary.

    1. I’d definitely say go with Santorum. Last December Cruz introduced an amendment to the Senate immigration (scamnesty bill) to increase temporary work visas for high skilled legal immigrants five-fold from 65,000 to 325,000. With 92 million Americans out of work, why on Earth would a United States senator propose such a pro-immigrant bill? He was elected to represent the interests of his constituents, American citizens, NOT the interests of immigrants. Santorum recognizes the dire situation of the American worker regardless of job position and has a real plan to protect and secure job opportunities for Americans First.

  2. Santorum is THE one – Glad he won the poll – more importantly he’d win 2016 handily – He has strong grassroots support among Conservatives and also appeals to #BlueCollarConservatives, Reagan Dems and every variety of middle America, working folks. The establishment works hard to HIDE him but listen to this – you’ll know I’m right >> whoradio.com/onair/simon-conway-42296/miss-my-interview-with-rick-santorum-12730426/ …

    1. I endorsed Santorum in 2012, and I endorsed Huckabee in 2008. I start off with a blank slate each cycle, but I can’t deny history with Santorum and that will definitely be considered when looking at 2016. I too think he’s spot on when addressing poverty and marriage. Also, I think he’s onto something with Blue Collar Conservatives. There does need to be a shift in how conservatives address voters.

    1. You beat me to that comment 🙂 Seeing as there is no way to verify the poll participants are being honest about their statistical info, I’d say you are spot on with your suspicions, Lisa. I know very well how the Paulians adopted the “do whatever it takes to win” strategy, especially regarding online polling. I recall how Ron Paul won practically all the online polls in 2012 yet failed to win one single state or even come close to winning one. Eh, go figure.

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