The latest on the presidential horse race.

Iowa GOP Trends: Christie in Trouble in Caucus Polls as Cruz Surges

 

Candidate

February

July

November

Christie

12

16

17

Cruz

10

16

Paul

15

18

13

Santorum

6

11

Ryan

10

15

9

Bush

14

14

Walker

7

Rubio

16

11

6

Jindal

3

2

3

While we await newer polls to see what kind of hit GOP frontrunner Chris Christie has taken following a scandal-mired two weeks, Christie’s biggest problem may be completely unrelated. While national polls are a good barometer of public opinion, the primary and caucus schedule is the key to a presidential nomination and thus far we’ve seen Christie struggle in Iowa (first in the nation caucus state) and New Hampshire (first in the nation primary state).

There hasn’t been a ton of polling in Iowa but we have three major polls from 2013 to find trends in voter support. Above is data from a PPP poll from February, a PPP poll from July, and a Harper poll from November.

Christie had struggled to gain any traction in Iowa until the fall when he led the Iowa caucus poll for the first time with a one-point advantage over Texas Senator Ted Cruz, well within the margin of error. He finished fourth in February and in a four-way statistical tie in July. Worse, a recent Des Moines Register poll found that Christie is the least popular GOP candidate in the race in Iowa.

While Christie may have a solid advantage in a lot of other states, this latest scandal is bound to cost him at least a couple of points, points he couldn’t afford to lose to begin with.

On the other hand, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has gained significant popularity after not even making the February poll and was essentially tied with Christie by the fall. Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, has suddenly surged past fellow Tea Partier Rand Paul who, while losing a few points, remains a strong candidate.

Rick Santorum could shake things up as well after winning the most votes in the 2012 GOP caucus against Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. He has only recently started making waves so that 11 percent in November could only be the beginning of a Santorum surge. Jeb Bush was not included on the last poll, inexplicably, but could be a significant factor after receiving 14 percent in both PPP polls.

On the other hand, Marco Rubio has seen his early support dissipate as he has fallen off more than any other candidate in the race and is now well below double-digits in most polls. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal don’t figure to make much of a dent in the race either.

It’s important to note that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has recently emerged as a serious presidential contender, was not included on these polls but has very high favorables in Iowa and won the caucus in 2008 when he defeated Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain, and Ron Paul.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

  • Chaz22

    Should we be impressed with these polls ? I have a problem with them because one poll contradicts another so much. Today one poll says a candidate is at the top of the list- tomorrow that same candidate will be 4th or 6th. Next week It will be the same; hardly ever same people in same spot, at least not for long. I can see a candidate slipping a little or rising a little but going from top to bottom or bottom to top makes me really wonder ! Of course where that polls is takien has a lot to do with it .

  • Joe Petrosky Jr.

    Your ads are covering the story.

  • wildman

    CRUZ/LEE/GOWDY/PALIN perfect ticket to get AMERICA back on track