Will the CPAC Straw Poll Cement Scott Walker’s Lead?
As of the current polling, Walker has topped the 25% mark in Iowa. Sure, the Iowa caucuses are a year away and anything can happen. However, it does appear his brand is selling to Republican voters right now when compared to the rest of the field. All eyes will be on Walker when he delivers his CPAC remarks today at 5pm eastern time.
Report from Politico:
Scott Walker is off to a strong start among caucus-going Republicans in Iowa, according to a new poll released Wednesday morning.
Among the 12 candidates mentioned in Quinnipiac University’s poll, the Wisconsin governor garnered 25 percent.
The next closest potential candidate is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, with 13 percent. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and neurosurgeon Ben Carson follow with 11 percent; with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 5 percent; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 4 percent; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 3 percent; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 2 percent. [Emphasis added]
Walker polled well among “very conservative” respondents, with 30 percent responding that they would support the governor if the caucus were today. Among those respondents identifying with the tea party, 33 percent said they would back Walker.
Only 8 percent said that they were less likely to vote for Walker because he doesn’t have a college degree. And 82 percent said it would make no difference.
This poll appears to be fairly bad news for Jeb Bush since he has now dropped behind Walker, Paul, Carson, and Huckabee. He’s not at the bottom, but he’s also lost support he had weeks ago when NBC News/Marist showed him in second place with 16%, just behind Huckabee at 17%.
For Walker, he’s got the lead and he’ll either consolidate it as the weeks go by or he’ll falter in some way and come back down to earth. Check back next month for the answer.
The CPAC Straw Poll, coming out on Saturday, will give us a gauge on whether the formal polling is matched up with how conservative activists are feeling about him. On the other hand, Rand Paul backers usually flood CPAC specifically to win the straw poll so we’ll see what happens.