Friday, November 27, 2015

New Scientific Poll of Iowa Caucuses

By Steffen Schmidt

Ben Carson and Hillary Clinton lead in the race for president in Iowa, according to a new poll from Iowa State University and WHO-HD. Some of the other results are more surprising.

Of likely Democratic caucus goers Clinton has support from 49.5 percent, Bernie Sanders 27.8, 13.7 percent are undecided, and 6.3 percent said they would vote for someone else ("other.") Martin O'Malley came in with a surprisingly low 2.7 percent.

Of likely Republican caucus goers Ben Carson has support from 27.2 percent, Marco Rubio is second with 16.7 percent; undecided voters are third, making up 16.2 percent; and Donald Trump is fourth with 14.7 percent. This is the first major scientific poll showing Trump so far behind. The rest of the Republican field came in as follows:

· Ted Cruz - 8.9 percent
· Jeb Bush - 4.9 percent
· Rand Paul - 3.3 percent
· Carly Fiorina - 1.8 percent
· John Kasich - 1.1 percent
· Mike Huckabee - 0.9 percent
· Chris Christie - 0.4 percent
· Lindsey Graham - 0.4 percent
· Rick Santorum - 0.2 percent

These numbers suggest that many of the GOP contenders need to consider dropping out unless their numbers pick up soon.

Attention to the 2016 caucuses is very high with 81 percent of those polled saying they are following the race in Iowa either "very closely" or "somewhat closely."

About half of those polled also said they "definitely" have decided or are "leaning" towards supporting a specific candidate in the race. When asked what traits they found most important from candidates "honest and trustworthy" was first at 38 percent, while "takes strong stands" came in second at 20.8 percent.

"The economy in general" was cited by 22.2 percent as the most important issue for 2016. The other issues ranked as follows:

· Dissatisfaction with government, Congress - 10.9 percent
· Federal budget defect, federal debt - 10.0 percent
· Gap between rich and poor - 6.3 percent
· Terrorism - 6.2 percent
· Morality, ethics, religious issues family decline, dishonesty - 5.5 percent
· Health care, health insurance - 4.6 percent
· Foreign policy, foreign aid, focus overseas - 4.1 percent
· Immigration, illegal aliens - 4.1 percent
· Unemployment, jobs - 3.2 percent
· Education - 2.3 percent
· The Environment, pollution - 2.2 percent
· Poverty, hunger, homelessness - 1.1 percent
· Crime, violence - 0.7 percent
· Race relations, racism - 0.6 percent
· Judicial system, courts, laws - 0.1 percent

We expect terrorism to rise as an issue of concern in the coming days.

The most surprising response was the low ranking of illegal immigration, which has been featured so prominently in the media and the emphasis of the Republican candidates.

The poll was conducted by phone with 1,074 registered voters between November 2-15. Margin of error is approximately 3 percent. For more information please contact the ISU Political Science Department, 515-294-7256 Prof. Mack Shelley.

No comments: