CBS News/New York Times PollFor release: Tuesday December 6, 20116:30 PM EST
The Iowa Caucuses: Four Weeks to Go
November 30- December 5, 2011
Though Iowa’s Republican caucuses have often hinged on socially conservative issues,this year in Iowa - as in the nation - it’s the economy that dominates. Caucus-goers tellthe CBS News/New York Times poll they’re seeking someone who can turn it aroundand has new ideas to do so.
Iowa’s caucus goers are not backing the candidates they most think share their values – they’re backing the one they think is most prepared for the presidency, and right nowthat’s overwhelmingly Newt Gingrich. Buoyed by that sentiment, he enjoys a sizable leadover Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, who are virtually tied for second place in this poll.
Gingrich leads among caucus goers with 31%, followed by Romney (17%) and Paul(16%). Tea Party supporters and evangelical voters back the former House Speaker.Romney leads among moderates.
Ron Paul’s strong suits are tax reform, promoting conservative principles, and sharingvoters’ values. Romney is seen as able to do a good job dealing with the economy.
The Race for the Nomination
The poll finds Newt Gingrich with a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. HermanCain’s departure is not a large factor – he had already declined in Iowa before he withdrew fromthe race Saturday – but Gingrich benefits from his withdrawal. Paul benefits somewhat; Romneydoes not. Although one-third of caucus goers say they did back Herman Cain at one time in thepast, the preference vote measured with Cain in the mix had him at just 7%. Most of theinterviewing for this poll was conducted before Cain left the race; caucus-goers were asked theircandidate preference in questions including and excluding Herman Cain.
Iowa Caucus-goers: Choice for Nominee
(Among Republican Caucus-Goers)Without Cain With CainNewt Gingrich 31% 28%Mitt Romney 17 18Ron Paul 16 14Rick Perry 11 10Michele Bachmann 9 4Rick Santorum 4 4Jon Huntsman 1 1Herman Cain n/a 7There is still room for movement in the race; 34% say their minds are made up, but 66% saythey could still change their minds.