A new poll in Iowa, the site of the first presidential battleground for the Republican nomination, shows pro-life Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann making major gains in her birthplace state.
Bachmann is now shown ahead of Gov. Mitt Romney, who is again campaigning as a pro-life candidate for the GOP nomination and who has led in Iowa and still leads in many other state and national polls. The results of the poll come after Romney played down Iowa and, instead, says he is focusing his efforts on capturing the New Hampshire primary — the location of the second primary contest.
The poll also has good news for pro-life former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who had been stuck in the mid single digits in the state. He has spent considerable time in Iowa at numerous local events and has seen his support rise in the Hawkeye State to 9 percent, tying him for third with pro-life businessman Herman Cain, who has seen his numbers dip with news stories of him losing staff members.
The poll has pro-life Rep. Ron Paul getting 6 percent of the Republican vote, 4 percent going to pro-life former Speaker Newt Gignrich, pro-life former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum getting 2 percent, and pro-life former Utah Gov. John Huntsman getting one percent. The survey did not include either Sarah Palin, the pro-life former vice-presidential candidate, or pro-life Gov. Rick Perry of Texas — both of whom are considering joining the Republican contest.
The poll found Bachmann and Pawlenty also have the most favorable ratings of any of the GOP candidates — with Bachmann liked by 76 percent of Republicans and disliked by 11 percent for a total positive rating of 65 percent. Pawlenty has a 60-12 percent split, or 48 percent positive overall.
Cain gets a 54-12 (42 percent positive) rating, Romney a 66-25 (+41%) rating, Santorum a 45-13 (+32%) rating, and Paul a 49-37 (+12%) rating. Both Gingrich and Huntsman get negative ratings with Huntsman’s split at 38-52 (-12%) and Gingrich at 38-52 (-14%).
When the most attentive voters are surveyed — those most likely to vote in the caucus next year — Bachmann nets 32 percent to 18 percent for Romney, 12 for Cain, 8 for Pawlenty, 5 for Paul, 4 for Gingrich and two percent each for Santorum and Huntsman.
“Of those who said they supported Huckabee in 2008, Bachmann got 28 percent. She did even better with those who supported Fred Thompson by garnering 40 percent of his former supporters,” the Iowa Republican noted.