For the last couple of days, TheIowaRepublican.com 2012 Caucus Poll has focused on which candidates Iowa caucus goers support. Today, we look at which candidates that they don’t like. The survey asked respondents if there are any candidates that they would definitely not vote for. Five candidates broke into double digits, but one candidate saw nearly a third of likely caucus goers say that they would definitely not vote for him – Newt Gingrich.
The poll shows that 28 percent of likely Iowa caucus goers would not vote for Gingrich. Sarah Palin saw 18 percent say they would not vote for her. The other three candidates who broke double digits were Ron Paul with 15 percent, Rudy Giuliani at 14 percent, and Mitt Romney 13 percent.
Gingrich’s standing with Iowans has dropped substantially since he launched his presidential campaign. Iowa has been a popular destination for Gingrich over the past decade. If anyone has been infatuated with the First-in-the-Nation state, it’s been him. Gingrich has been coming to Iowa to headline fundraisers, promote his books, rally Republicans, and promote winning issues for Republicans. One would be hard pressed to find a candidate who has done more to reach out and talk to Iowans over the past few years than Newt Gingrich.
In August of 2010, Gingrich performed well in the TIR Poll. He finished in third place behind Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney with an impressive 14 percent. In a second ballot that didn’t include Huckabee, Gingrich’s support increased to 18 percent. Public Policy Polling showed Gingrich at 12 percent in its Iowa poll in late May, but since then, his numbers have been in a steady decline. In the latest TIR Poll, Gingrich finished with just 4 percent, but the fact that 28 percent of those surveyed said they would definitely not vote for him is devastating for his campaign.
The prospects for Gingrich’s presidential campaign were good in Iowa. Even though his candidacy hit some turbulence as he officially entered the race, he generated plenty of interest on his initial 17-city tour. However, instead of hunkering down in Iowa while dealing with his comments about the Ryan budget plan or his Tiffany’s debt, Gingrich took a two-week vacation in Greece.
While Gingrich was vacationing, his campaign unraveled. His once legitimate campaign quickly became a soap opera as his entire campaign staff walked out on him. The poll indicates that Gingrich lost more than just members of his staff last month. He also lost credibility with Iowa caucuses goers.
The other candidates who also have a significant amount of the electorate who will not support them is somewhat expected. Romney may be the only candidate who could be considered a surprise on this list, but it’s not hard to understand why he ranked relatively high, or low as the case may be. Thus far, Romney has ignored Iowa, and the healthcare reform legislation he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts is unpopular since it is considered to be the predecessor to Obamacare.
The table below shows how all the candidates fared with the question. It also includes their favorable and unfavorable numbers.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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