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Veteran Advisor

New DSM Register Iowa Poll

This was written by Kathy Obradovich of the DSM Register.... not anywhere near a conservative view on anything.  Here is her take on the new Iowa Poll being released this morning.




If Iowa caucus polls were like sweepstakes, Michele Bachmann would have just opened the door to Ed McMahon and a huge bunch of balloons. Tim Pawlenty's the neighbor who bought 100 magazine subscriptions, only to see the celebration going on next door.

Bachmann is riding high in the first Des Moines Register Iowa Poll of likely GOP caucusgoers. She's just one percentage point behind Mitt Romney, the national front-runner, in an eight-person field. The Minnesota congresswoman is by far the most popular out of 18 current or potential candidates, including Sarah Palin. All on the eve of her formal presidential campaign launch.


Pawlenty has invested heavily in Iowa. He's spent 26 days in the state since November 2009, has an A-list Iowa staff, has done a direct-mail piece and was on TV with an ad on the last night of polling. The former Minnesota governor done everything a caucus candidate is supposed to do. And he's not any better off in the poll than Newt Gingrich, whose campaign is in ashes. It hardly seems fair.

Bachmann was a standout in the June 13 debate in New Hampshire, while Pawlenty was panned for failing to press his earlier attacks on Romney's health-care record. But that's not enough to account for such a wide gulf in popularity.

Register pollster J. Ann Selzer says Bachmann is a good fit for Iowa, at least on paper. She's an Iowa native, born in Waterloo. She checks all the boxes for conservative issues and has a national platform with the tea party. She can raise a lot of money. And, not inconsiderably, she's fresh and dynamic.

Pawlenty has also been seen as a good match for Iowans. He's likable -- his net favorability numbers are second only to Bachmann's at 45 points. He has worked to position himself as a candidate for all types of Republicans -- saying what religious conservatives want to hear while touting his fiscal record for the business-oriented set. Maybe he's tried too hard to please everyone.

More likely, Pawlenty's problem is that his early and aggressive organization has earned him an extra helping of scrutiny and criticism. Democrats and sympathizers have been trashing his Minnesota budget and tax record for months. His economic plan, which included a highly optimistic 5 percent growth rate, has met with incredulous media reviews.

Bachmann has not faced anything comparable. She has a reputation for gaffes and factual flubs and is light on congressional accomplishments, but she has seen nothing yet in the way of organized attacks on her record. She has not put forth detailed proposals for a Bachmann presidency. That will come, and whether she has lasting star power or just a vapor trail will depend on how well she handles the heat.

Romney's numbers can spin in either direction. That he's only one percentage point ahead of an upstart like Bachmann might suggest he was right to steer clear of Iowa. On the other hand, that he still leads the pack after spending only a single day in Iowa this cycle means he has a very loyal base. It is hard to imagine Romney gaining more support, however, without coming to Iowa to ask for it.

Pawlenty has been seen as Romney's chief competitor for mainstream Republicans. But the Minnesotan has not capitalized much on Romney's absence from Iowa -- only 15 percent of Romney supporters even include Pawlenty as a second choice.


As for the rest of the field:

Herman Cain: Third place is an excellent position for Cain, who is still introducing himself to caucusgoers. At 10 percent, he's the only candidate besides Romney and Bachmann in double digits.

Gingrich: Only gay-activist Fred Karger has higher unfavorable ratings among declared GOP candidates. If the former U.S. House speaker was looking to Iowa to resurrect his smoldering campaign, his finish in this poll behind Romney, Bachmann, Cain and "not sure" should be sobering.

Ron Paul: The Texas congressman had nearly 10 percent of the vote on caucus night in 2008, in fifth place. He's tied for fourth with Gingrich in this poll, although his favorability ratings are far more positive. He has a chance to move up.

Rick Santorum: He's lagging behind the field at 4 percent, despite spending significant time in Iowa. He's still not well-known, with 45 percent of caucusgoers not sure what they think of him. And he's facing stiff competition for the religious-conservative vote.

Potential candidates: Fourteen percent of likely caucusgoers are undecided, and 69 percent say they could be persuaded to support someone else. There's still ample opportunity for a candidate like Texas Gov. Rick Perry (43 percent favorable, 8 percent unfavorable) to jump in. Palin is still popular, with a stronger net favorability rating than Romney.


The field may not be set, and neither are the fates sealed for candidates who are struggling. In May 2007, the Iowa Poll had eventual caucus-winner Mike Huckabee with 4 percent, tied with U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado. There's still plenty of time for someone to burst the front-runners' balloon.

Political columnist Kathie Obradovich can be reached at (515) 284-8126 or Twitter: @kobradovich. Blog:



17 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll

Hey Craig, my dream team would be Ron Paul/Michele Bachmann.  I`m afraid money and such have Paul out, but he`ll get his message out.  Michele would have to be on everyone`s short list for VP.  I haven`t been a fan of Mit Romney, but I`ve read a few things about him and am starting to warm. I really don`t like Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman, so much so if one of them are the nomineess I may leave the top of the ballot blank in Nov `12 and let Obama take his rightfull blame when the crap hits the fan in his `gag` 2nd term.  If the Republicans can strongly take the Senate, that`s the big prize. JMHO

Senior Contributor



Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll

One person that I'm fairly certain would disagree with you boys would be Congressman Paul.

During the race for the 2008 nominatoin an interviewer asked him (I think it was Larry King but I'm not positive) who he could envision as an ideal VP candidate to run with him and his answer was Dennis Kucinich.

Honored Advisor

Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll

well, I don`t know about Kucinich in `08, I just kinda doubt RP would go for a commie like that.   In the here and now?  The very hot Alix Steel asked RP who his choice for VP in `12?  Judge Andrew Napolitano, excellent choice Ron!!   You gotta admit Bruce of all the Repub Pres. candidates on the stage presently  the Lovely Michele Bachmann espouses Ron Paul`s ideals the Best.

Veteran Advisor

Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll

Huntsman is an obvious RINO and should simply run as a democrat.


Funny how no one is calling Michelle Bachman "Bat Sh*t Crazy Woman" anymore. Didn't even take a trouncing in elections like  the tea party candidates gave the democrats in November to accomplish that little feat. Remember all the reasons our resident Democrats told us about how the tea party was not going to win anything last November ?


People that are pulling the cart are fed up, and they are going to keep voting. The ones riding on the cart are too lazy to look for work, and probably too lazy to vote, too. One can only hope.


Mrs. Bachman is not my ideal candidate, but compared to what we got, she looks very lovely.


Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll

BA you obviously didn't see the Paul interview with Ratigan that was linked here last week. The one where Congressman Paul referred to the libertarians and the progressives having much in common on some issues. Bachman and Paul are world's apart. Michelle's primary base of support (radical religious fundamentalists and their huge big government quest to transform the public process to where it affects every component of every american's private life) doesn't overlay in line with one pixel of the Paul blueprint.
Kucinich a commie? Check out his views and positions on the ongoing financial crisis...he  might be the most commited to true, fair working capitalism member of Congress.
Honored Advisor

Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll

Hey Bruce, yes I did see the Ratigan piece, Libertarians and Progressives do agree on a few a point then veer off on separate roads.  Perhaps I shouldn`t post the following links, you and Don may lose your amor for Dr Paul after reading Smiley Happy

Ron Paul:  A rating NRA, Pro Life, against amnesty, against homosexuals adopting kids, against socialized medicine  ...dovetailing Michele Bachmann...Ron Paul`s long lost baby sister.

Dennis Kucinich: F rating from NRA, Pro abortion, 94% positive rating from National Assoc. Advancement of Liberal Colored People,  Pro any damned thing homosexuals want. Pro amnesty..Dennis Kucinich pretty damned liberal



Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll

" their huge big government quest to transform the public process to where it affects every component of every american's private life)" sounds just like progressives. Bachman voted for tarp, patriot act, etc.

Re: New DSM Register Iowa Poll