The latest on the presidential horse race.

New Poll: 2016 Iowa GOP Race Promises to be Like 2012 On Steroids

WPA Research, 3/30
Iowa GOP

  • Huckabee: 14
  • Paul: 10
  • Walker: 8
  • Bush: 7
  • Cruz: 7
  • Ryan: 7
  • Christie: 6
  • Santorum: 5
  • Perry: 3
  • Rubio: 3
  • Jindal: 2

In 2012, fringe Republican candidates like Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich seemed to alternate first place status on a weekly basis. The 2016 race may prove even more unpredictable as there are at least six candidates with a legitimate chance at winning the Iowa caucus and all have seen their share of spikes and drops already.

According to a new WPA Research poll, Mike Huckabee has maintained his first-place lead in Iowa but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is right on his heels and four other candidates are within three points of him.

The poll, conducted on March 30, sampling 402 registered Republican primary voters, found that Mike Huckabee remains in first place with 14 percent of the vote. Huckabee has finished first in every Iowa poll that has included him but his numbers may have slipped from 17 to 14.

Right behind Huckabee is rising Republican star Rand Paul, capturing 10 percent of the vote. He too has fallen off from the mid-teens as the middle-of-the-pack candidates gain support.

Just a tick behind Paul is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with 8 percent. Walker has been climbing in the polls and has now received 7-8 percent in three straight Iowa surveys after seeing just 3-4 percent last year.

A mere point behind Walker are Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. All three have also lost some support as the pack has grown.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has seen an uptick in some polls but not in the first-in-the-nation caucus where he finds himself with 6 percent. Right on his heels with 5 percent is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum who had an impressive showing in Iowa in 2012.

Trailing everyone are Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Governor Rick Perry with 3 percent and Bobby Jindal with 2 percent. None of the three are expected to make much of a dent in the primary race.

Expect a lot of frontrunners to emerge as the campaign rolls along, and expect them to be replaced with new faces just as quickly each following week.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)