Hawkeye Days Start with No Clear Frontrunner for 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination
The 2008 runner-up for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, holds a shaky lead among potential 2012 Presidential nominating contest participants nationwide. YouGov polled 1,013 Republicans and Republican-leaning Republicans nationwide between July 23-August 8.
Among all potential Presidential contest participants nationwide, the standings are currently Mitt Romney (16%), Rick Perry (14%), Michele Bachmann (11%), Sarah Palin (9%), Herman Cain (8%), Ron Paul (8%), Rudy Giuliani (7%), Newt Gingrich (3%), Tim Pawlenty (3%), Rick Santorum (2%), Jon Huntsman (1%), with Other (6%) and No Preference (12%) rounding out the responses.
In the next few months, some of these 11 potential and announced candidates YouGov tested will leave the field, and theoretically, new candidates might join the fray. At this kick-off week in Iowa, however, it is clear that no candidate—neither frontrunner Romney, nor newcomer Perry, nor Tea-Party standard-bearer Bachmann has the kind of broad and intense base needed to win a crowded party primary. Who are the potential voters and caucusers in next year’s Republican Presidential nominating contests that these 11 must woo?
Tea Party Followers (39% of all Potential Republican Nomination Contest Participants) are mostly strong partisan Republicans (52% say they are strong Republicans). Older voters predominate, with 23% age 65+, compared with only 14% under age 30. They include those with a college degree or more (29%), some college experience but no college degree (33%), and those with no college experience at all (38%). Right now, their preferences are Bachmann (20%), Perry (18%) and Cain (12%).
Tea Party Supporters (32% of all Potential Republican Nomination Contest Participants) are most likely to be strong partisan Republicans (42% are strong Republicans) but also include many Independents who lean Republican (31%) or not-very-strong Republicans (27%). Most are in the middle age ranges, with only 15% under age 30 and 15% age 65+. This group may be marginally better educated than Tea Party Followers, but the differences are very small (those with a college degree or more comprise 33%, some college experience but no college degree are 34%, and those with no college experience at all comprise just 33%). Right now, their preferences are Romney (23%) and Perry (16%).
Tea Party Opponents (a tiny 5% of all Potential Republican Nomination Contest Participants) are most likely to be not-very-strong Republican partisans (54%). While most of these voters are men (58%), this group has a slightly higher-than-average proportion of women (42%) compared to Tea Party Followers and Tea Party Supporters, two groups where about 2-in-3 in each group are men. Very few are older voters (only 11% age 65+). Right now, their preferences are Paul (19%), Giuliani (15%) and Romney (11%), with 15% no preference at this time.
Rest of the Broader Republican Electorate (24% of all Potential Republican Nomination Contest Participants) are most likely to be not-very-strong Republicans (57%). Women comprise most of this number (63%). More than twice as many are under age 30 (33%) are age 65+ (15%). Half (53%) report only a high school degree or less. Leading the field is “no preference” at 24%, trailed by Romney (21%), and two candidates most pundits do not believe will actually run a campaign for the 2012 nomination, Palin (14%) and Giuliani (14%).
After a big week in Iowa, some of these numbers will sort themselves out, and the number of candidates will start to be pared down. For now, there is little indication of any candidate taking charge of this contest for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination.
Photo source: Press Association