Monday, January 2, 2012

Rick Santorum Has the Momentum in Iowa


The underdog Rick Santorum is on the momentum to do well at the Iowa caucuses. Like I said before, the last man standing may win the GOP primary. We have seen the rise and fall of Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich. The only candidate the media gave a pass is Rick Santorum. I guess this may be a surprise to Santorum.


(Pulbic Policy Polling) Raleigh, N.C. – The Republican caucus in Iowa is headed for a photo finish, with the three leading contenders all within two points of each other. Ron Paul is at 20%, Mitt Romney at 19%, and Rick Santorum at 18%. Rounding out the field are Newt Gingrich at 14%, Rick Perry at 10%, Michele Bachmann at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 2%.


The momentum in the race is completely on Santorum's side. He's moved up 8 points
since a PPP poll earlier in the week, while no one else has seen more than a one point
gain in their support. Among voters who say they decided who to vote for in the last
seven days he leads Romney 29-17 with Paul and Gingrich both at 13. Santorum's net
favorability of 60/30 makes him easily the most popular candidate in the field. No one
else's favorability exceeds 52%. He may also have more room to grow in the final 48
hours of the campaign than the other front runners: 14% of voters say he's their second choice to 11% for Romney and only 8% for Paul.


Other than Santorum's rise the other big story of this week is Paul's fall. He was at 24% earlier in the week but has dropped to 20%. That decline in support coincides with a precipitous drop in his favorability numbers. On our last poll he was at +13 (53/40), but  that's gone down 21 points on the margin to -8 (43/51). For all that Paul still has a very  decent chance at winning on Tuesday- it just depends on whether his unusual coalition of young voters and non-Republicans really comes out to caucus. Mitt Romney leads with the more traditional caucus demographics of senior citizens and registered Republicans.


“It’s impossible to say who’s going to win Tuesday night,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “If you think momentum will be the most important factor that’s an argument for Santorum. If you think having the most passionate supporters will be the most important factor that’s an argument for Paul. And if you think the ability to beat Barack Obama will be the most important factor that’s an argument for Romney.”