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Iowa Republicans: Romney Seen As Most Mainstream Candidate, Paul Most Extreme

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate that a majority of likely Iowa Republican Caucus voters describe as having extreme views, while Mitt Romney is considered the candidate that is most mainstream.

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of those likely to participate in the Iowa GOP Caucus shows that 64% believe it would be more accurate to describe former Massachusetts Governor Romney’s views as mainstream, while only 16% see his views as extreme. Another 20% aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Only 29% of GOP voters in Iowa would describe Paul’s views as mainstream, while a majority (52%) sees his views as extreme. Another 20% are undecided.

Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are both viewed as being generally mainstream by 50% of likely Caucus voters. But only 27% describe Perry’s views as extreme, while 34% say that of Bachmann’s. While 23% of voters are not sure about Perry, who more recently entered the race, just 15% are undecided about Bachmann.

Perry has moved into first place among Republican voters in Iowa, host state to the first-in-the-nation caucus early next year. Essentially tied for second are Bachmann at 18% and former Romney at 17%. Paul picks up 14% of the vote, and nobody else currently reaches the five percent (5%) mark.

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The 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. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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