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LA Times Poll Shows Clinton, Romney Leading the Pack in IA

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In the first LA Times / Bloomberg poll of likely Iowa caucus voters, Hillary Clinton maintains her lead over John Edwards while failing to reach the 30 percent mark; meanwhile, Mitt Romney continues to enjoy a double-digit lead over his chief rivals. The poll was conducted September 6-10 of 462 likely Democratic caucus voters and 350 likely Republican caucus voters.

Clinton received 28 percent support in the new poll, followed by Edwards at 23 percent, Barack Obama at 19 percent, Bill Richardson at 10 percent, Joe Biden at 2 percent, Dennis Kucinich at 2 percent, and Chris Dodd at 1 percent. Fifteen percent were not sure who would get their vote.

When asked which candidate has new ideas, Obama led the way with 35 percent, followed by Clinton (19 percent), and Edwards (11 percent). However, Edwards was viewed as the most likeable (31 percent), followed by Obama (28 percent), and Clinton (20 percent). Clinton trounced the field when Iowa Democratic caucus voters were asked who had the right experience for the presidency—49 percent indicated Clinton, with just 15 percent for Edwards, 10 percent for Richardson, and only 7 percent for Obama.

Clinton also received the highest marks for being the best candidate in the Democratic field to fight terrorism and ending the war in Iraq—earning twice the support as any other candidate.

On the Republican side, Romney earned the nod of 28 percent of likely Republican caucus voters, followed by Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson each at 16 percent, Mike Huckabee at 8 percent, John McCain at 7 percent, Tom Tancredo at 3 percent, Ron Paul at 2 percent, Sam Brownback at 2 percent, and Duncan Hunter at 1 percent. Seventeen percent were undecided. Romney has led by double-digits in every public poll taken in Iowa since August 2007.

Romney also edged Giuliani in the eyes of Iowa Republican caucus voters on several key issues and character traits: leading the former New York City mayor 23-21 percent in terms of strength of leadership, 20-14 percent in terms of who would best handle social issues like abortion and gay rights, and 25-10 percent in keeping taxes low (Thompson came in second on the tax issue with 13 percent).

John McCain was viewed as the best candidate to handle the war in Iraq (24 percent), followed by Giuliani (21 percent), and Romney (13 percent). Giuliani was viewed as the best to fight terrorism and protect national security (25 percent), followed by McCain (19 percent), and Thompson (9 percent).

In perhaps the most interesting finding of the poll 48 percent of GOP caucus voters felt the country needed a new direction, while just 44 percent felt the nation should continue the policies of President Bush.

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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