Rasmussen Reports released a new survey today of Iowa Republicans showing pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry has build a solid lead in the state that is the site of the first presidential battleground next year.
“Confirming a surge seen in polling across the nation, Texas Governor Rick Perry has moved into first place among Republican voters in Iowa, host state to the first-in-the-nation caucus early next year,” Rasmussen indicates.
The Rasmussen telephone survey of those likely to participate in the Iowa GOP Caucus shows that Perry is the first choice for 29%. Essentially tied for second are pro-life Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 18% and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is running as a pro-life candidate after formerly supporting abortion, at 17 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who is pro-life, picks up 14% of the vote but no other candidate receives more than 5 percent of the vote.
As for the other candidates, four percent (4%) support pro-life former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum; four percent (4%) back pro-life Georgia businessman Herman Cain; three percent (3%) favor former pro-life U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, and two percent (2%) support pro-life former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
“A month ago, before Perry officially entered the race, Bachmann and Romney were essentially tied for the lead with Perry in fourth place,” Rasmussen says. “The new Iowa results are consistent with national polling which also shows Perry on top. Perry leads President Obama by three in an early look at a possible general election matchup. Other top Republican contenders are close. The president trails a generic Republican by eight.”
Perry has the support of 45% of Tea Party voters, while Romney holds a slight 24% to 20% lead over Perry among those who are not members of the grass roots movement.
Though Perry leads, just 27 percent of Iowa Republicans of all likely Iowa caucus goers are certain of how they will vote.
“That leaves plenty of room for opinions to shift, particularly if new candidates enter the race. Perry has entered the race on top but has yet to face a debate or other serious campaign testing from his competitors. That will change with a large number of candidate forums scheduled during the month of September,” Rasmussen noted.
Eighty percent (80%) of likely Iowa caucus goers think it’s at least Somewhat Likely that the Republican nominee will defeat Obama. That includes 56% who say it’s Very Likely.
The national poll, which Rasmussen conducted on Thursday, showed, for the first time this year, Perry leads Obama. Other Republican candidates trail the president by single digits. The survey had Perry picking up 44% of the vote while the president earns support from 41%. Given the margin of sampling error (+/- 3 percentage points) and the fact that the election is more than a year away, the race between the two men is effectively a toss-up. Just over a week ago, the president held a three-point advantage over Perry.
Perry leads by nine among men but trails by five among women. Among voters under 30, the president leads while Perry has the edge among those over 30. The president leads Perry by 16 percentage points among union members while Perry leads among those who do not belong to a union.
Romney currently trails the president by four percentage points, 43% to 39%. That’s a slight improvement for the Republican compared to a week ago. Earlier in the year, Romney held a one-point edge when matched against the president. If Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is the GOP candidate, the president leads 46% to 38%. Unlike Perry and Romney, Bachmann’s numbers are a bit weaker now than they were a week ago.
The new survey of 862 Likely Iowa Republican Caucus Participants was conducted on August 31, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.