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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending December 30, 2011

Friday, January 06, 2012

The old year’s out, the new year’s in, but you’d hardly notice it from the unbroken pace of politicking in Iowa as Tuesday’s caucus approaches. Now it’s time for Election 2012 to get real.

After months of volatility, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul remain the front-runners in Iowa for the third week in a row. Romney earns 23% support from likely caucus participants to Paul’s 22%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum has moved into third place with 16%, his best showing to date, closely followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor Rick Perry who earn 13% of the vote each. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann picks up five percent (5%) support, while former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman gets three percent (3%), marking no movement on either candidate’s part over the past week.

But 41% of these likely caucus-goers say they still could change their minds, and six percent (6%) more have no first preference, suggesting that much could change in the last few days. In short, as Scott Rasmussen wrote recently, it continues to be a game of musical chairs in Iowa to determine who will emerge near the top and go on in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. 

Romney has now jumped out front of President Obama by a 45% to 39% margin. It’s his biggest lead ever over the incumbent and also the biggest lead a named Republican candidate has held over Obama in Rasmussen Reports surveying to date.

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