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

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