June 1, 2015

Iowa’s Winnowing Fork Will be Larger Than Usual This Year

The Republican field appears to be settling at 16 candidates.

We started our candidacy tracker at 20 potential candidates back in April, then narrowed it slightly to 18 last month when Mike Pence and Rick Snyder announced they wouldn’t be running. Now it looks like everyone else on the tracker, with the exception of Bob Ehrlich and Peter King, are set to join the fray (and even if Ehrlich and King did decide to run, their effect on the race at this point would be negligible).

So sixteen it is. But that historically massive field will be winnowed down to a manageable size by one contest with outsized importance this campaign year: the Iowa caucuses.

Traditionally, one or two candidates drop out of the race after the votes are counted in the Hawkeye State every campaign season. This time around, however, the caucuses may force as many as seven or eight candidates out of the race — (assuming they all even make it to next February). The reason is simple — expectations.

A primary campaign can be an exercise in managing expectations and favorably spinning less-than-desired results. No matter how hard they might spin, however, every candidate has their must-win state: contests in which they absolutely must place first or else their campaign is over. This time around, whether they’ll admit it or not, Iowa is a must-win for roughly half our field.

Let’s start with the two obvious ones: Senator Rick Santorum and Governor Mike Huckabee. They’ve both won the caucuses once before, so to place any lower than first this time around would send their presidential aspirations to the dustbin. But they’ll have plenty of competition: Iowa is also a must-win for Governor Scott Walker because he is a socially conservative governor from a neighboring state. Just because of geography and ideology, he’ll be expected to place first. Compounding that expectation are early polls showing him with a sizeable lead there already, before he’s even announced his candidacy. Joining those three are Senator Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, and Governor Rick Perry, all of whom are basing their campaigns on a conservative firebrand style designed to appeal to Iowa Republicans. You could potentially add Governor Bobby Jindal to the list, depending on how he positions himself during his campaign rollout and initial wave of messaging. So far, he’s chosen to shed his wonkish/pragmatic image in favor of a direct appeal to social and religious conservatives, which, if continued, would make Iowa a must-win for him as well. Carly Fiorina could be turning Iowa into a must-win for herself as well with the amount of time and resources she’s pouring into the state at this early stage.

Obviously, only one candidate can win Iowa. The seven or eight out of that group who lose will be forced to hang up their skates and call it a day. (Even if they stay in the race officially, they will see their money and votes dry up for later contests.) By bedtime on February 1, we will see this massive field sliced in half.

For the rest of the candidates who can survive without winning Iowa, these are the states shaping up to be must-wins for them:

  • Paul – New Hampshire
  • Rubio – South Carolina (and Florida, obviously)
  • Graham – South Carolina
  • Bush – New Hampshire (and Florida)
  • Pataki – New Hampshire
  • Christie – New Hampshire
  • Kasich – geography would suggest Iowa, ideology would suggest New Hampshire… this one remains to be determined
  • Trump – none; will lose every state but self-finance just to hear himself keep talking

Get out the popcorn, ladies and gentlemen – we are about to see a Battle Royale go down in the Hawkeye State.

  1:00 pm Iowa Caucuses  

Poll Watch: DMR Iowa Caucus Survey

Des Moines Register/Selzer Iowa Republican Caucus Survey

  • Walker – 17% (16)
  • Carson – 10% (10)
  • Paul – 10% (15)
  • Bush – 9% (9)
  • Huckabee – 9% (13)
  • Rubio – 6% (4)
  • Santorum – 6% (5)
  • Cruz – 5% (6)
  • Christie – 4% (6)
  • Trump – 4% (1)
  • Perry – 3% (3)
  • Fiorina – 2% (1)
  • Kasich – 2% (1)
  • Graham – 1% (-)
  • Jindal – 1% (2)
  • Pataki – 0% (-)
  • Undecided – 11% (7)

First & Second Choice Combined:

  • Walker – 27%
  • Rubio – 18%
  • Huckabee – 17%
  • Bush – 16%
  • Carson – 15%
  • Paul – 15%
  • Cruz – 13%
  • Santorum – 12%
  • Perry – 9%
  • Christie – 8%
  • Trump – 6%
  • Fiorina – 5%
  • Jindal – 5%
  • Kasich – 3%
  • Graham – 2%
  • Pataki – 1%

Favorability Ratings (Among Republican Caucus Voters):

  • Walker – 66/11 +55 (+48)
  • Rubio – 60/17 +43 (+37)
  • Carson 56/15 +41 (+38)
  • Cruz – 59/20 +39 (+37)
  • Huckabee – 61/30 +31 (+38)
  • Perry – 59/29 +30 (+38)
  • Santorum 56/28 +28 (+27)
  • Jindal – 43/19 +24 (+19)
  • Fiorina – 41/19 +22 (-4)
  • Paul – 55/34 +21 (+39)
  • Kasich – 25/16 +9 (+8)
  • Bush – 43/45 -2 (+3)
  • Graham – 22/38 -16 (-)
  • Pataki – 10/35 -25 (-)
  • Christie – 28/58 -30 (-18)
  • Trump – 27/63 -36 (-42)

Survey of 402 likely Republican caucus-goers was done May 25-29 and has a margin of error of ±4.9% at 50%. Numbers in parentheses are from the January DMR poll.

  9:16 am Iowa Caucuses, Poll Watch  

May 27, 2015

Poll Watch: Vox Populi/Daily Caller Early State Snapshot

Vox Populi, in conjunction with the Daily Caller, asked GOP primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina last weekend whether or not they would consider voting for a bunch of different Republican candidates. Across all three states combined, here were the totals (would consider/would not consider, with the remainder being neutral or don’t know):

  • Rubio – 56/19
  • Walker – 52/16
  • Carson – 48/20
  • Huckabee – 46/32
  • Cruz – 43/29
  • Perry – 40/31
  • Paul – 41/33
  • Bush – 42/36
  • Fiorina – 29/24
  • Jindal – 30/27
  • Santorum – 34/37
  • Kasich – 16/28
  • Christie – 30/46
  • Graham – 28/45

A few notes before we move on to the individual states: first, this is obviously great news for fans of Senator Rubio and Governor Walker. I am surprised at how high Ben Carson is on this list, though — at +28, he beats everybody except the two frontrunners. At +14, Huckabee has now sunk to match Ted Cruz, both of whom have little to no chance of winning the nomination at this point. Bush continues to poll poorly in these sorts of surveys, with a full 36% of GOP voters saying they would not consider voting for him. That’s the highest of anyone except Santorum, Christie, and Graham — indicating he will have the tiniest margin for error once this campaign starts in earnest. And finally, if you are Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, or Lindsey Graham, why even bother? At least Bush has the establishment money and campaign infrastructure. Those other three have nothing.

In the three earliest states, here are the percentage of voters who would consider voting for a candidate:


  • Walker – 64%
  • Rubio – 57%
  • Huckabee – 57%
  • Carson – 54%
  • Cruz – 48%

New Hampshire

  • Rubio – 52%
  • Walker – 47%
  • Bush – 45%
  • Paul – 42%
  • Carson – 42%

South Carolina

  • Rubio – 57%
  • Walker – 49%
  • Carson – 48%
  • Huckabee – 47%
  • Cruz – 42%

Some parting thoughts: Graham doesn’t even register in the top five in his home state. Jeb Bush isn’t in the top five in Iowa or South Carolina, and he only gets considered by 45% of folks in New Hampshire. Those numbers are going to be huge problems for him if he can’t move them before the votes start being cast. Surveys like this make it evident why niche candidates such as Paul and Cruz are’t going to be the nominee (and, to a lesser extent, you can throw Huckabee in that group as well). Finally, Walker and Rubio have the highest ceilings in every state. This thing could easily come down to a contest between the two of them, and I suspect that would be a scenario most Republican primary voters would be okay with. Rubio is the only candidate with a ceiling above 50% in all three states.

May 21, 2015

Is Jeb Bush Following in Rudy Giuliani’s Footsteps?

In the 2008 race for the Republican nomination, Rudy Giuliani banked on a unique, never-before-attempted strategy: ignore the early states and focus on large states like Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. The thinking was clear: for the first time, the new front-loaded calendar potentially offered the chance for a well-funded national candidate to get the necessary delegates. Theoretically, the calendar was so packed at the front end of the campaign that a candidate could absorb losses in the early contests without much damage, and Mayor Giuliani wasn’t a natural fit (to say the least) for Iowa and South Carolina, anyway.

So Florida became Rudy’s de facto firewall. Sure, in the winter of 2007 he said he wasn’t giving up on Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, but as time went on and those contests drew closer it became obvious to any armchair pundit what his strategy really was. The only early state he even put up any modicum of a fight in was New Hampshire, and even there he eventually gave up and withdrew.

Of course, reality came crashing down around the Giuliani campaign as Romney, McCain, and Huckabee — the three candidates who finished first, second, and third in the early states (give or take a sputtering Fred Thompson campaign) — sucked up all the press, all the momentum, and all the votes. Giuliani would eventually place a distant third in Florida, sending his Great Experiment to the trash heap of modern political history.

But those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and it seems this election cycle may well feature a candidate who is unwittingly following in Mayor Giuliani’s footsteps: Jeb Bush.

Campaign sources in the Bush camp have indicated that not only will Governor Bush skip the Iowa Straw Poll, he will also not contest the Iowa caucuses:

According to three sources with knowledge of Bush’s campaign strategy, the likely Republican presidential candidate does not plan to seriously contest the first-in-the-nation caucuses — and may ultimately skip the state altogether.

While some politicos are applauding this decision, or saying it was the obvious one for Governor Bush to make, in reality it wouldn’t be too dramatic to say this early decision could mark the beginning of the end for the Bush campaign. Before he has even officially announced his candidacy, Jeb Bush has essentially doomed it.

There’s an old political axiom that there are only three tickets out of Iowa. That axiom has held true for both parties in every election going back 44 years to the beginning of the caucuses, with the exception of John McCain in 2008. (But even then, McCain finished essentially tied for third just a couple hundred votes behind Fred Thompson — and the momentum of his campaign coming back from the dead was the headline coming out of the caucuses afterward.)

History tells us to win your party’s nomination you must contest and place in the top three in the Iowa caucuses. Governor Bush’s gamble to the contrary looks an awful lot like Mayor Giuliani’s gamble in 2008. In 2008, the calendar was supposed to make things different. It didn’t. This time around, the large and supposedly fractured field is supposed to make things different. It won’t. And none of this takes into consideration the general election, either. Should Bush somehow manage to buck decades of history and reality and become the Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton will begin the general election lightyears ahead of him as far as organizing in the Hawkeye State. In a swing state that will likely have outsized importance in the 2016 presidential election, Republicans are going to need every advantage they can get. Passing on an opportunity to build campaign structure in Iowa is a losing proposition.

By skipping Iowa, Jeb is essentially placing all his primary eggs in the New Hampshire basket — an even riskier move for someone with the last name Bush, given the state’s primary voting history. The New Hampshire primaries are still eight and a half months away, but the latest poll out of the Granite State has Bush in third place and his average in the state has been dropping steadily for two months now. Come February, he may find himself locked in a battle royale with Walker, Rubio, and Paul, all of whom could easily finish higher than him in New Hampshire — and one or more of whom will be riding momentum out of Iowa. All it will take is for one of them to beat Bush in New Hampshire, and his campaign will be over. He will not win South Carolina, and if he fails to win any of the first three states, Rubio will KO a weakened Jeb a couple weeks later in Florida (if he even stays in that long).

Could Jeb Bush win Iowa? Not a chance. Everybody knows that — but this is where Bush is missing his greatest opportunity: those low expectations are already baked into his Iowa results. Jeb placing third in Iowa would be the equivalent of Governor Walker or Governor Huckabee placing first: meeting expectations.

Instead, unless the Bush campaign changes their mind and contests Iowa, we could very well have another Giuliani-like postmortem to deliver come February.

  9:17 am Iowa Caucuses, Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani  

April 23, 2015

2016 Primary Calendar: Ready, Ames, Fire Edition

There has been quite a bit of movement and clarification to the 2016 primary calendar already, even at this early stage of the campaign — which means it must be time for a calendar update!

(Also, please note: the most up-to-date version of this primary calendar will always be available by clicking the “2016 Primary/Caucus & Debate Calendar” tab at the top of the page.)

Let’s start at the beginning of the calendar, which for this election cycle means the Ames Straw Poll — or, beginning this year, the Iowa Straw Poll. That’s correct, armchair pundits, the quadrennial circus that is the Iowa GOP’s main fundraiser will no longer be held in Ames. Instead, they’ll be moving down the road a few miles to the town of Boone, which won a bidding process to host the festivities.

After John McCain, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry all skipped the straw poll the past couple of elections (with McCain and Romney eventually winning the nomination), and after Iowa Governor Branstad came out publicly in favor of ending the spectacle, everyone wondered if there was even going to be a straw poll this year. But when the Iowa Republican Party got together to vote on it last month, they unanimously agreed: the money it brings in is worth the lowering of dignity it requires of candidates and the electoral process in general. (Okay, so that might be a slightly skeptical angle on it…)

At the meeting where they voted to keep the straw poll alive and award the town of Boone as its host, they also set the date of the festivities: Saturday, August 8. That means in just over one hundred days, the first ballots will be cast that will serve to help winnow this increasingly massive GOP field.

Following the straw poll news, Fox News and the RNC announced the location and date for the first GOP debate on the calendar. Previously, we just knew it would be sometime in August and somewhere in Ohio. Now we know the first debate will take place in Cleveland on Saturday, August 15. The RNC Convention will be held in Cleveland in the summer of 2016, and so the GOP and the city have embraced the slogan, “Start Here. Finish Here.” with this debate announcement.

An interesting side note here: in 2011/12, there were three debates held prior to the Ames Straw Poll, including one in Ames on the eve of the poll itself. Those debates are arguably what helped propel Michele Bachmann to temporary frontrunner status in Iowa and enabled her to win the straw poll (and what helped sink Tim Pawlenty’s candidacy as well). This time around, there will be no debates prior to the Iowa Straw Poll, which will change the dynamics on the ground significantly (assuming, of course, that any candidates actually commit to playing the straw poll game this year).

Following the Fox News debate, CNN and the Reagan Library have also now announced the date of the next GOP debate in Simi Valley: Wednesday, September 16. Given the old axiom (which largely holds true) that people don’t pay attention to politics before Labor Day, this will most likely be the first debate that Americans really watch. It will be interesting to see how many candidates make it through the summer to actually attend the debate, and also how many candidates CNN invites.

No other debates have announced specifics yet, but what we do know is on the calendar below.

There are some updates to the 2016 side of the calendar as well, when actual votes start being cast. First, down south it appears that the so-called SEC primary is not going to happen now due to some political hardball. If you’re new to these discussions, Georgia, who is holding its primary on March 1 (the first legal date mandated by the RNC), has been trying to convince all of its neighbors to join them on the same date to create a de facto regional primary which would benefit southern candidates. This “SEC Primary” was supposed to include six states: AR, TN, LA, MS, AL, and GA. Well, Georgia and Tennessee are already on board and have legally committed to March 1. Legislation is going through the Alabama legislature right now to move to March 1, and everyone expects it to pass. That leaves Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, where the picture isn’t so rosy if you’re an SEC primary proponent.

In Arkansas, a bill was introduced in the state legislature to move the presidential primary to March 1, and Governor Hutchison expressed strong support for it. The bill, however, died in the House after representatives expressed concern over the extra cost of creating another primary (the bill would have left the other state primaries in their current slot in May). There’s a second bill that would move all of the primaries together from May up to March 1, but there’s little support for it, and the Governor would have to call the legislature into special session to pass it — so it looks like Arkansas is the first to RSVP “No” to the party.

In Mississippi, the opposite happened: the bill to move the primary to March 1 cruised through the legislature, but was then squashed by the Lieutenant Governor in a strange political power play that stretches far beyond this one piece of legislation. There is a whole messed up web of political intrigue currently going on in Mississippi state government, and their spot in the SEC primary looks to be collateral damage in the war. Mississippi will remain one week later on March 8.

And in Louisiana, they are in the midst of budget fights that might result in the Bayou State not even holding a primary at all. Remember, primaries are generally paid for by the state, whereas caucuses are generally paid for by political parties. In Louisiana, they have long had an odd system where some of their delegates are chosen via primary and some via caucuses; this year, due to budget constraints, the state is on the verge of eliminating the primary and just letting the parties pay for caucuses to elect delegates. If Louisiana does hold a primary, it will likely remain on March 5, in between the mini-SEC primary and the Mississippi primary.

Aside from all that mess down south, the following states have been updated on our 2016 calendar today:

  • North Carolina — Recall that last year, North Carolina passed a law tethering themselves to the South Carolina primary. This week, in order to avoid possible penalties should SC need to move up, they passed another bill untethering themselves from their southern neighbor. Their primary will now be on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March (March 8 this time around).
  • Ohio — state legislators voted on Wednesday to move the primary from March 8 to March 15 in order to make the primary winner-take-all.
  • Idaho — The GOP wanted to have caucuses on March 1, the state legislature voted to hold a primary on March 8, and the state GOP essentially said, “Okay, if you want to pay for it, we’ll move back to March 8.”
  • Connecticut — Republican lawmakers attempted to move the primary up from April to March but the Democratic legislature killed the bill.
  • Utah — the state eliminated the funding for a primary; therefore, each party now chooses a date for their caucuses. The Utah Democratic Party has chosen March 22, which is where we’ve penciled the GOP caucus in on our calendar as well (rumor strongly suggests the GOP is eyeing a March date as well). This date will, of course, potentially change when the state GOP makes its final decision.
  • New York — state officials and legislators are still arguing over when to hold their primary; the only thing decided for sure is that it will not be in February. We’ve tentatively penciled them in for March 1, which is the date the NY GOP party is fighting for.

Phew. With all that being said, here is the most up-to-date 2016 calendar yet:

August 8, 2015 Iowa Straw Poll Boone, IA
August 15, 2015 Fox News/Ohio GOP Debate Cleveland, OH
September 16, 2015 CNN/Ronald Reagan Library Debate Simi Valley, CA
October CNBC Debate CO
November Fox Business Debate WI
December CNN Debate NV
January 2016 Fox News Debate IA
February 1, 2016 Iowa Caucuses
February 2016 ABC News Debate NH
February 9, 2016 New Hampshire Primary
February 20, 2016 Nevada Caucus
February 2016 CBS News Debate SC
February 27, 2016 SC Primary
February 2016 NBC Debate FL
March 1, 2016 Super Tuesday: AL, CO, GA, MA, MN, NY, TN, TX, VT, VA
March 5, 2016 Louisiana Primary
March 8, 2016 Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina Primaries; Hawaii Caucuses
March 15, 2016 Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio Primaries
March 22, 2016 Arizona, Oklahoma Primaries; Utah Caucuses
March 2016 Fox News Debate TBD
March 2016 CNN Debate TBD
April 5, 2016 Maryland, Wisconsin Primaries
April 26, 2016 Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Primaries
May 3, 2016 Indiana Primary
May 17, 2016 Oregon Primary
May 24, 2016 Arkansas Primary
June 7, 2016 California, New Jersey, South Dakota Primaries

April 21, 2015

Poll Watch: Gravis Insights/Townhall (R) Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

Gravis Insights/Townhall (R) Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Jeb Bush 16% [10%] (14%)
  • Scott Walker 13% [24%] (10%)
  • Marco Rubio 12% [7%] (4%)
  • Rand Paul 9% [10%] (8%)
  • Ben Carson 9% [5%]
  • Mike Huckabee 8% [7%] (9%)
  • Ted Cruz 6% [4%] (7%)
  • Chris Christie 5% [9%] (5%)
  • Carly Fiorina 3% [3%]
  • Rick Santorum 2% [6%]
  • Unsure 17% [15%] (18%)

Survey of 388 Iowa Republican voters was conducted April 13, 2015.The margin of error is +/- 5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted February 12-13, 2015 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted January 5-7, 2015 are in parentheses.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  7:45 pm 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party  

April 10, 2015

BREAKING: Hillary Clinton to Announce Campaign Sunday in Iowa

Per The Guardian:

Hillary Clinton is planning to officially launch her US presidential campaign on Sunday while en route to Iowa, a source familiar with the campaign has confirmed to the Guardian.

The former secretary of state is scheduled to declare her second run for president on Twitter at noon eastern time on Sunday, the source told the Guardian, followed by a video and email announcement, then a series of conference calls mapping out a blitzkrieg tour beginning in Iowa and looking ahead to more early primary states.

Clinton’s Sunday schedule is booked beginning with takeoff from New York to Iowa, where speculation has centered for weeks that Clinton was focusing attention for an April campaign launch. Her scheduled calls are with advisers in other key battleground states.

Full story here.

  10:13 am 2016, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucuses  

March 26, 2015

2016 Primary Calendar: Inaugural Edition

Setting the calendar for the primary season every four years is an intricate, messy, and sometimes insane dance involving dozens of entities with competing agendas — all of which equals great entertainment for pundits and political watchers like us.

The national political parties (represented by the RNC and DNC), the state parties, and the state governments (including one overly-influential Secretary of State) all have a vested interest in setting primary and caucus dates. In the best case scenario all of them work in tandem to bring about a unified end result from the myriad of moving pieces; in reality, that almost never happens. And in reality, we will probably not know the final primary and caucus calendar for another seven months or so.

Until then, it is interesting to speculate as to what that calendar will look like. There are a slew of primary calendars up on various sites around the internet all taking their best guess at the calendar, but most have very little in the way of explanation or fact behind them. Here’s what we know at this point in the story:

The 2008/2012 Hangover Laws

In the previous two presidential primary campaigns, many states rushed to move their primaries or caucuses closer to the start of the calendar in order to gain more influence over the nominating process. After seeing how this frontloading negatively impacted the campaigns, most states are showing signs of backing off and a willingness to move their dates back once again.

However, many of these states still have laws on the books dating back to 2007 or 2011 mandating an early primary date — and this is from where some of the confusion over the early calendars originates. For instance, New York is commonly listed as having a February 2 primary because of 2007 legislation; however, nobody believes the New York primary will actually occur on that date. Everybody expects the New York legislature to move their primary back to April. Other states with hangover laws include Michigan and Colorado, both of which are currently scheduled for February but widely expected to move back to March as well. (Florida had a hangover law until just last week, when Governor Scott signed a bill moving their primary back to the second Tuesday in March, which in 2016 would be March 15. Likewise, the Minnesota GOP and DFL parties recently agreed to move their caucus out of February back to March 1.)

The National Parties

The RNC has made more of an effort this time around than they ever have before to exert greater control over the calendar, releasing their expectations for the early calendar and threatening intense punishment for any state that breaks them.

Here’s what the RNC has called for:

  • February 2016: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada
  • March 1-14: Any other states, but must award delegates proportionally
  • March 15 – June 3: Any other states, delegates to be awarded as desired

In order to keep other states from jumping into February, a la 2008 or 2012, the RNC also announced harsh penalties: your total delegate count gets reduced to 9 or ? of your original slate, whichever is smaller. That gives states like Florida, for instance, which has 99 delegates this year, a powerful reason to move out of February back to March.

One other item of interest: you may be wondering about the June 3 cutoff date for the end of the calendar. The RNC voted to have their convention incredibly early this year — rather than late August or early September, the 2016 national convention will be held July 18-21 in order to allow the GOP nominee earlier access to general election funds. Current regulations state that nominating contests must be held at least 45 days prior to the convention, meaning many states with current June primaries are going to have to move them earlier now.

After the RNC released that skeleton calendar, the DNC met and voted on their version of an early calendar. They passed the following:

  • February 1 – Iowa caucus
  • February 9 – New Hampshire primary
  • February 20 – Nevada caucus
  • February 27 – South Carolina primary
  • March 1 — All other states

Again, these dates aren’t binding because the state parties and/or state legislatures will ultimately decide the final dates (generally speaking, parties decide caucuses and legislatures decide primaries, because that is where the funding comes from for each). The DNC also passed their own version of frontloading penalties as well to discourage anyone from messing with this schedule.

So now, since states nearly always have their nominating contests for both parties on the same date, it is widely believed the RNC will endorse this proposal from the DNC and this will be our jumping off point for the 2016 election.

As an interesting sidenote, North Carolina passed a law last year legally tying themselves to South Carolina — by new North Carolina statute, their primary must be held on the Tuesday following the South Carolina primary. In the current calendar format, that would be March 1, which would work out fantastically because it’s the first date any other state can go without being penalized. But… if another state attempts to jump into February and causes the whole thing to back up into January, the North Carolina legislature might have some emergency action to take so they don’t get penalized.

Binding Caucuses

If you remember back to 2012, Minnesota and Colorado were able to jump close to the front of the line without having their delegate slate penalized. They were able to do this because of a loophole in the RNC rules: the parties in these states held caucuses that were non-binding; that is, delegate selection was not directly tied to the result of the presidential preference votes taken during the caucusing. This is what led to strange results like Rick Santorum winning both states by large margins (18% in Minnesota and 6% in Colorado) but Mitt Romney winning the Colorado delegates and Ron Paul winning the Minnesota delegates.

The RNC sought to eliminate those sorts of head-scratching results with another new rule: all caucuses must now be binding. In other words, whoever wins the presidential preference vote at a caucus must now get at least a plurality of the delegates as well. This seems to make a lot of sense, and it also comes with a bonus side effect: nobody can skirt the calendar punishments now by invoking the “non-binding” loophole. This means states like Minnesota and Colorado who went in February last cycle must now move back to March (which Minnesota has already done, as mentioned above, and which Colorado is widely expected to do).


In 2011-12, there were well over two dozen debates during the Republican primary, a fact the candidates and the voting public did not enjoy. In order to cut that down this cycle, the RNC has officially sanctioned a series of 12 debates. In 2011 the debates began in early May; in 2015 the first sanctioned debate will take place in late August. There will be one per month in 2015, one in January 2016, three in February, and two more in March. The final debate is dubbed as a “conservative media debate” with a date TBD.

Taking Shape

So taking all of that into consideration, here is how the 2016 primary calendar looks as of now (based off of widely expected moves, not necessarily on current laws that are going to be changed):

    • August 2015 — Fox News debate, Ohio
    • September 2015 — CNN/Ronald Reagan Library debate, California
    • October 2015 — CNBC debate, Colorado
    • November 2015 — Fox Business debate, Wisconsin
    • December 2015 — CNN debate, Nevada
    • January 2016 — Fox News debate, Iowa
  • February 1 – Iowa caucus
    • February — ABC News debate, New Hampshire
  • February 9 – New Hampshire primary
  • February 20 – Nevada caucus
    • February — CBS News debate, South Carolina
  • February 27 – South Carolina primary
    • February — NBC debate, Florida
  • March 1 — SUPER TUESDAY
  • Alabama primary (currently March 8)
  • Colorado caucus (currently February 2)
  • Georgia primary
  • Massachusetts primary
  • Minnesota caucus
  • Mississippi primary (currently March 8)
  • North Carolina primary
  • Texas primary
  • Vermont primary
  • Virginia primary
  • March 5 — Louisiana primary
  • March 8 — Michigan primary (currently February 23); Ohio primary
  • March 15 — Florida primary; Illinois primary; Missouri primary
  • March 22 — Arizona primary; Oklahoma primary (currently March 1)
  • March — Fox News debate, location TBD
  • March — CNN debate, location TBD


There are other things to watch for as this calendar continues to evolve and change shape. For instance, the Utah GOP is considering moving from a June primary to a March caucus (which would seem to benefit grassroots candidates). Nevada is considering changing from a caucus to a primary (which would seem to benefit establishment candidates and seriously hurt Rand Paul’s chances). And there continues to be talk of trying to cobble together a “Western Regional Primary” or an “SEC Primary” by states like Utah and Georgia, respectively, who are trying to convince all their neighboring states to hold nominating contests the same day they do. It remains to be seen whether any of those efforts will be fruitful (although as noted above, at the very least Alabama and Mississippi are expected to join Georgia on March 1). Finally, one would expect a number of states to look at moving to March 15 and creating a second Super Tuesday, since that is the first day delegates can be awarded in a winner-take-all fashion. While all the positioning and posturing happens, grab some popcorn and enjoy the dance!

March 7, 2015

Poll Watch: NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Survey

NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Poll

  • Hillary Clinton 68% (70%)
  • Joe Biden 12% (20%)
  • Bernie Sanders 7%
  • Jim Webb 1%
  • Martin O’Malley 0%
  • Undecided 12% (10%)

Survey of 321 potential Democratic caucus-goers was conducted February 3-10, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 5.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted July 7-13, 2014 are in parentheses.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

February 25, 2015

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

Quinnipiac Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Scott Walker 25%
  • Rand Paul 13%
  • Ben Carson 11%
  • Mike Huckabee 11%
  • Jeb Bush 10%
  • Ted Cruz 5%
  • Chris Christie 4%
  • Marco Rubio 4%
  • Rick Santorum 4%
  • Rick Perry 3%
  • Bobby Jindal 2%
  • John Kasich 0%

Survey of 623 likely Iowa Republican caucus participants was conducted February 16-23, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points. Gender: 60% Men; 40% Women. Political philosophy: 45% Very conservative; 28% Somewhat conservative; 25% Moderate/Liberal.


  • Walker’s doing very well in Iowa. He nearly doubles his closest competitor and enjoys a double digit lead.
  • Carson continues to be a strong second tier candidate.
  • The second tier in Iowa currently is Paul, Carson, Huckabee, Bush. They are bunched up within 3 ppts of each other — the MOE.
  • Bush barely cracks double digits.
  • The “noise” candidates are Cruz, Christie, Rubio,  Santorum, Perry, and Jindal. They are in the lower single digits with only Cruz managing to crack 5 ppts.
  • I am continually struck at the poor showing of Rick Santorum. He finished second in 2012. He should, by all rights, be at least in the second tier, but he consistently polls at or near the bottom of every poll.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

February 18, 2015

Poll Watch: Gravis Marketing/Townhall (R) Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

Gravis Marketing/Townhall (R) Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Scott Walker 24% (10%)
  • Rand Paul 10% (8%)
  • Jeb Bush 10% (14%)
  • Chris Christie 9% (5%)
  • Marco Rubio 7% (4%)
  • Mike Huckabee 7% (9%)
  • Rick Santorum 6%
  • Ben Carson 5%
  • Ted Cruz 4% (7%)
  • Carly Fiorina 3%
  • Unsure 15% (18%)

Survey of 343 registered Republican voters was conducted February 12-13, 2015. Results from the poll conducted January 5-7, 2015 are in parentheses.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  4:00 am 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Poll Watch, Scott Walker  

February 17, 2015

Watch: NBC News/Marist Early State 2016 Democratic Primary/Caucus Surveys

NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Poll

  • Hillary Clinton 68% (70%)
  • Joe Biden 12% (20%)
  • Bernie Sanders 7%
  • Jim Webb 1%
  • Martin O’Malley 0%
  • Undecided 12% (10%)

Survey of 321 potential Democratic caucus-goers was conducted February 3-10, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 5.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted July 7-13, 2014 are in parentheses.

NBC News/Marist New Hampshire 2016 Democratic Primary Poll

  • Hillary Clinton 69% (74%)
  • Bernie Sanders 13%
  • Joe Biden 8% (18%)
  • Jim Webb 2%
  • Martin O’Malley 0%
  • Undecided 7% (8%)

Survey of 309 potential Democratic primary voters was conducted February 3-10, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 5.6 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted July 7-13, 2014 are in parentheses.

NBC News/Marist South Carolina 2016 Democratic Primary Poll

  • Hillary Clinton 65%
  • Joe Biden 20%
  • Bernie Sanders 3%
  • Martin O’Malley 2%
  • Jim Webb 2%
  • Undecided 8%

Survey of 352 potential Democratic primary voters was conducted February 3-10, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 5.2 percentage points.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

February 16, 2015

Poll Watch: NBC News/Marist Early State 2016 Republican Primary/Caucus Surveys

NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Mike Huckabee 17%
  • Jeb Bush 16% (12%)
  • Scott Walker 15% (5%)
  • Chris Christie 9% (8%)
  • Rand Paul 7% (12%)
  • Marco Rubio 6% (7%)
  • Ben Carson 6%
  • Rick Santorum 5% (9%)
  • Rick Perry 4% (7%)
  • Ted Cruz 2% (7%)
  • Lindsey Graham 1%
  • Undecided 14% (20%)

Survey of 320 potential GOP caucus-goers was conducted February 3-10, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 5.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted July 7-13, 2014 are in parentheses.

NBC News/Marist New Hampshire 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Jeb Bush 18% (10%)
  • Scott Walker 15% (6%)
  • Rand Paul 14% (14%)
  • Chris Christie 13% (13%)
  • Mike Huckabee 7%
  • Ben Carson 7%
  • Ted Cruz 6% (9%)
  • Marco Rubio 6% (7%)
  • Rick Perry 1% (5%)
  • Lindsey Graham 1%
  • Rick Santorum 1% (3%)
  • Undecided 13% (22%)

Survey of 381 potential GOP primary voters was conducted February 3-10, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 5.0 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted July 7-13, 2014 are in parentheses.

NBC News/Marist South Carolina 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Lindsey Graham 17%
  • Jeb Bush 15%
  • Scott Walker 12%
  • Mike Huckabee 10%
  • Ben Carson 10%
  • Rand Paul 7%
  • Chris Christie 6%
  • Marco Rubio 4%
  • Rick Perry 4%
  • Rick Santorum 3%
  • Ted Cruz 1%
  • Undecided 11%

Survey of 450 potential GOP primary voters was conducted February 3-10, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.6 percentage points.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

February 11, 2015

New Poll Shows Hillary’s Vulnerability to Elizabeth Warren

Second verse same as the first for Hillary come 2016? A new poll commissioned by YouGov for MoveOn.org’s PAC shows that Democratic primary/caucus voters are highly receptive to Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy when her positions/bio are compare with Hillary Clinton’s, so much so that Warren pulls ahead of Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire after these voters made aware of the differences between the two contenders:

To know Elizabeth Warren is to want her to run for president, according to a YouGov survey of likely Democratic Iowa caucus goers and New Hampshire primary voters recently conducted on behalf of the Run Warren Run campaign.

The results show that, after likely caucus goers and primary voters learn about Elizabeth Warren’s biography and issue positions, not only do a stunning 79% say they want her to run, but, in both states, Warren ends up leading all other potential Democratic candidates in a head-to-head ballot question.

The full press release is here.

Hat-tip: Joe Hanna

February 5, 2015

Paul’s Potential Problem in Iowa

Rand Paul may have unexpected problems in Iowa. The National Journal reports:

DES MOINES—Rand Paul opens 2015 with an enviable base of support in Iowa from his father’s two presidential bids. But as he tries to broaden his appeal beyond the hard-core liberty activists who lifted Ron Paul to a third place finish in 2012, the senator is encountering an unlikely roadblock: his own campaign team.

One of Paul’s two top Iowa operatives, A.J. Spiker, is so deeply disliked and mistrusted by so much of the Iowa Republican establishment that party activists, officials, and strategists say he is damaging Paul’s credibility in the state.

Spiker was supposed to have been one of Rand Paul’s secret Iowa weapons in 2016: a Ron Paul acolyte-and-activist-turned-party-insider, a man who became the surprise chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa after Paul forces took control in 2012. When Doug Stafford, Paul’s chief strategist nationally, hired Spiker away from the party almost a year ago, Stafford declared, “His ability to work with the grassroots is unmatched.”

But Spiker’s tumultuous and controversial chairmanship—which ran from just after the 2012 Iowa caucuses until early 2014—so thoroughly alienated the Republican grassroots and establishment here that many view him as more of a liability for Paul than an asset.

This is a situation that has the possibility of repeating itself in a number of states. Iowa was not the only state in 2012 where the Paulites seized control of the GOP apparatus. It is an open question as to how much resentment is out there poisoning the waters for Rand Paul.

It all depends upon how nicely they played with the regulars. If they played nice, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If they didn’t, Rand will have to deal with the consequences of it.

  11:58 am Iowa Caucuses, Rand Paul  

February 3, 2015

Huckabee’s Beyoncé Bombast Bombs in Iowa

Iowa is an important state for Mike Huckabee. If he can’t finish first here, or at least as the top SoCon vote-getter, it is hard to imagine how he’d ever recover.

The DMJ’s recent poll asked Iowans what they thought of Mike’s recent shots at Beyoncé and his criticisms of the Obamas for allowing their daughters to listen to her. The results are as follows:

In his recently published book, Mike Huckabee criticized the singer Beyoncé, calling her “mental poison.” Do you think Huckabee is mostly right about Beyoncé, or did he go too far?

Mostly Right Went Too Far Not Sure
Democrats 6 81 13
Republicans 40 38 22

Conducted Jan. 26 – 29. 401 are registered Iowa voters who say they definitely or probably will attend the 2016 Democratic caucuses, and 402 are registered Iowa voters who say they definitely or probably will attend the Republican caucuses. MOE is 4.9%

Well, that wasn’t too bad. It was neither a hit nor a miss with the Republican caucus goers. It was more a wash than anything. However check out what they think of Huckabee criticizing the Obamas’ parenting skills:

Mike Huckabee said the Obamas were guilty of bad parenting for allowing their daughters to listen to her music. Do you think Huckabee is mostly right about the Obamas, or did he go too far?

Mostly Right Went Too Far Not Sure
Democrats 2 95 3
Republicans 23 61 16

Ouch! That certainly didn’t help him. It went over like the proverbial lead balloon. Nearly three times as many Republican caucus goers thought he went too far as compared to those who thought he was mostly right.

Why does this image come to mind?


  9:35 am Iowa Caucuses, Mike Huckabee  

February 2, 2015

Poll Watch: Loras College Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

Loras College Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Mike Huckabee 14.4% (14.7%)
  • Jeb Bush 13.1% (10.7%)
  • Ben Carson 12.8%
  • Scott Walker 9.9% (4.7%)
  • Rand Paul 7.0% (8.5%)
  • Chris Christie 5.4% (8.0%)
  • Ted Cruz 5.4% (6.2%)
  • Marco Rubio 4.2% (4.7%)
  • Rick Santorum 3.8% (4.7%)
  • Rick Perry 3.2% (3.0%)
  • Bobby Jindal 1.6%
  • Carly Fiorina 1.3%
  • John Kasich 1.3% (0.7%)
  • Lindsey Graham 0.6%

Survey of 316 likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers was conducted January 21-24, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 5.5 percentage points. Click here to view crosstabs. Results from the poll conducted April 7-8, 2014 are in parentheses.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  4:00 am 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Mike Huckabee, Poll Watch, Republican Party  

February 1, 2015

Poll Watch: Des Moines Register/Selzer & Co. Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

Des Moines Register/Selzer & Co. Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

  • Scott Walker 16%
  • Rand Paul 15%
  • Mike Huckabee 13%
  • Ben Carson 10%
  • Jeb Bush 9%
  • Ted Cruz 6%
  • Chris Christie 6%
  • Rick Santorum 5%
  • Marco Rubio 4%
  • Rick Perry 3%
  • Bobby Jindal 2%
  • Carly Fiorina 1%
  • John Kasich 1%
  • Donald Trump 1%
  • Mike Pence 0%
  • Uncomitted 3%

The poll of 402 likely Republican caucusgoers was conducted Jan. 26-29 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Inside the numbers:

Presidential stage newcomer Scott Walker, the conservative reform pit bull who inspired death threats from the left, has become the one to watch in the race for the Republican nomination a year out from the Iowa caucuses.

At 15 percentage points, he leads a big, tightly packed field of potential contenders in a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll of likely Republican caucusgoers. The caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 1, 2016.

The Wisconsin governor is also the No. 2 most popular choice for likely caucusgoers who want an establishment candidate, and he’s the No. 2 for those who want an anti-establishment candidate, the poll shows.


The day after polling wrapped up, Romney announced he’s out of the competition. When the numbers in this poll are shuffled — by giving Romney’s votes to the contenders his supporters named as their second-choice pick — the five others in the top tier gain support.

Huckabee, a former TV commentator and two-term Arkansas governor, benefits the most, picking up 3 percentage points. The pecking order doesn’t shift, though.


Last weekend, he made his big debut as a potential presidential contender, delivering a forceful speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit that elated the audience. Extensive national media coverage billed Walker as the best of show among nine potential candidates who spoke at the summit.

“He got a big bounce,” Selzer said.

Walker’s support has jumped 11 points since the last Iowa Poll. In October, only 4 percent of likely caucusgoers named Walker as their first choice for president.

  12:00 am 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Poll Watch, Republican Party  

January 24, 2015

Iowa Freedom Summit Open Thread

The Iowa Freedom Summit is taking place in Des Moines today and features several 2016 GOP hopefuls. I will post links to the speeches as the become available as well as reactions. The Des Moines Register has a live feed of the event here. Consider this an open thread. Note: Longtime R4’16 reader Joe Hanna is contributing coverage to this event.


Scott Walker

Dr. Ben Carson

Donald Trump

Rick Santorum

Ted Cruz

Carly Fiorina

Mike Huckabee

Rick Perry

Chris Christie

UPDATE: National JournalScott Walker Scores Standing Ovation In Iowa – The Wisconsin governor proves he can connect with these important primary voters.”

Further updates beneath the fold.

  3:08 pm 2016, Iowa Caucuses  

January 13, 2015

Poll Watch: Townhall/Gravis Marketing (R) Iowa 2016 Republican Caucuses Survey

Gravis Marketing (R) Iowa 2016 Republican Caucuses Survey

  • Mitt Romney 21%
  • Jeb Bush 14%
  • Scott Walker 10%
  • Mike Huckabee 9%
  • Rand Paul 8%
  • Ted Cruz 7%
  • Paul Ryan 5%
  • Chris Christie 5%
  • Marco Rubio 4%
  • Uncertain 18%

The Townhall/Gravis Marketing poll was conducted Jan. 5-7 among 404 registered Republican voters The poll carries an error rate of 3 percent.

  11:36 am 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Mitt Romney, Poll Watch  

November 23, 2014

Poll Watch: Reuters/Ipsos Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Survey

Reuters/Ipsos Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Poll

  • Hillary Clinton 60%
  • Elizabeth Warren 17%
  • Joe Biden 4%
  • Andrew Cuomo 3%
  • Bernie Sanders 2%
  • Kirsten Gillibrand 1%
  • Martin O’Malley 1%

Online survey of 552 likely Democratic and Democratic-leaning Independent voters was conducted October 23-29, 2014.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  10:52 am 2016, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucuses  

November 18, 2014

Christie to Veto New Jersey Bill. Thinking of Iowa?

Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey has indicated that he’s considering vetoing a bill pending in his state’s legislature. The bill would ban the use of so-called “Gestation Cages” by hog farmers. They are used to confine pregnant sows during their gestation, hence the name.

The bill would have pretty much zero effect in New Jersey. There are only a small number of hog farmers in the state, and none of them use the cages. So it’s pretty much a meaningless bill — in New Jersey.

So why would the Governor of New Jersey want to veto a largely symbolic bill in his state? In a word, Iowa.

It turns out that gestation cages ARE a big deal in Iowa. There are tons of hog farmers in Iowa, and the use of the cages is quite common. One or two of the farmers expressed to Governor Christie when he visited the state recently that they really don’t see how anyone who’s never set foot on a hog farm could ever have an informed opinion on the cages. Christie agreed with them.

And which state has the first Presidential contest in the nation? Iowa, which makes it very important in the realm of Presidential politics.

And that’s how an essentially meaningless bill in New Jersey suddenly becomes controversial.

  7:11 am 2016, Chris Christie, Iowa Caucuses  

November 16, 2014

Thing not All Rosy for Hillary in Iowa

Politico has an article written by Lee Rood, a columnist for the Des Moines Register. It is entitled, “Is Iowa Already Sick Of Hillary?”

DES MOINES, Iowa — If you’re a die-hard Democrat in New York hoping to overcome the disappointment that was Nov. 4, you’re worried.

But here in Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation caucuses are a mere 14 months away, some are breaking into a cold sweat.

Most party leaders here will assure you all conversations about the 2016 presidential nomination still begin and end with Hillary Clinton.

Crawford, who has led presidential campaigns in Iowa for almost three decades, acknowledges Clinton could easily stumble out of the gate if sometimes contrarian Iowans believe they are being force-fed an unlikeable candidate.

“Democrats are worried,” said Jack Hatch, the veteran Democratic state senator from Des Moines who sputtered in his bid to take on four-term Republican Gov. Terry Branstad. “I’m very worried.”

The Des Moines Register has long enjoyed a reputation par excellence of reflecting very accurately the state of politics in Iowa at any given moment. If they say Iowa’s Democrats are nervous about Hillary, they are nervous about Hillary. They are worried that the former First Lady may be open to a surprise ambush by an attractive upstart. That would throw the 2016 primary season into disarray and chaos. And given the drubbing the party received in 2014 and the deep unpopularity of their sitting President, that is exactly what they don’t need.

  8:23 am 2016, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucuses  

November 9, 2014

Poll Watch: Fox News Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Survey

Fox News Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Poll

  • Hillary Clinton 62%
  • Elizabeth Warren 14%
  • Joe Biden 10%
  • Martin O’Malley 2%
  • Andrew Cuomo 2%
  • Other (vol.) 1%
  • None of the above (vol.) 2%
  • Don’t know (vol.) 6%

Survey of 352 likely Democratic voters was conducted October 28-30, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 5 percentage points.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  11:52 am 2016, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucuses, Poll Watch  

September 12, 2014

Poll Watch: CNN/ORC Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

CNN/ORC Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Mike Huckabee 21%
  • Paul Ryan 12%
  • Rand Paul 7%
  • Chris Christie 6%
  • Jeb Bush 6%
  • Marco Rubio 5%
  • Rick Perry 5%
  • Scott Walker 5%
  • Bobby Jindal 4%
  • Ted Cruz 4%
  • Rick Santorum 3%

Survey of registered Republicans was conducted September 8-10, 2014.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  4:17 pm 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Mike Huckabee, Poll Watch  

August 28, 2014

Poll Watch: USA Today/Suffolk University Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Survey

USA Today/Suffolk University Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Poll 

  • Hillary Clinton 66.49% (62.96%)
  • Elizabeth Warren 9.95% (11.85%)
  • Joe Biden 7.85% (9.63%)
  • Andrew Cuomo 4.19% (0.74%)
  • Martin O’Malley 2.09%
  • Undecided 7.85% (11.85%)

Survey of 191 Democratic caucus-goers was conducted August 23-26, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 7.09 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted April 3-8, 2014 are in parentheses.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  11:15 am 2016, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucuses, Poll Watch  

August 27, 2014

Poll Watch: USA Today/Suffolk University Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

USA Today/Suffolk University Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll 

  • Mike Huckabee 13.11% (11.02%)
  • Chris Christie 10.68% (7.09%)
  • Rick Perry 8.74% (3.15%)
  • Jeb Bush 7.28 (10.24%)
  • Rand Paul 6.80% (10.24%)
  • Paul Ryan 6.31% (6.30%)
  • Rick Santorum 5.83% (5.51%)
  • Marco Rubio 5.34% (5.51%)
  • Ted Cruz 4.85% (9.45%)
  • Scott Walker 4.37% (5.51%)
  • Bobby Jindal 2.91% (3.15%)
  • Jon Huntsman 0.97%
  • John Kasich 0.97%
  • Other 4.37%
  • Undecided 16.99% (3.15%)

Survey of 206 GOP caucus-goers was conducted August 23-36, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 6.83 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted April 3-8, 2014 are in parentheses.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  3:46 pm 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Mike Huckabee, Poll Watch  

July 21, 2014

Poll Watch: NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Survey

NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 Democratic Caucus Poll 

  • Hillary Clinton 70%
  • Joe Biden 20%
  • Undecided 10%

Survey of 539 registered Democratic voters was conducted July 7-13, 2014.  The margin of error is +/- 4.2 percentage points.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  11:30 am 2016, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucuses, Joe Biden, Poll Watch  

Poll Watch: NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

NBC News/Marist Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll 

  • Jeb Bush 12%
  • Rand Paul 12%
  • Paul Ryan 11%
  • Rick Santorum 9%
  • Chris Christie 8%
  • Rick Perry 7%
  • Ted Cruz 7%
  • Marco Rubio 7%
  • Scott Walker 5%
  • Bobby Jindal 1%
  • Undecided 20%

Survey of 558 registered Republican voters was conducted July 7-13, 2014.  The margin of error is +/- 4.1 percentage points.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  10:45 am 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Rand Paul  

May 23, 2014

Poll Watch: PPP (D) Iowa 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

PPP (D) Iowa 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Mike Huckabee 20% {17%} (16%{15%} [17%] (16%
  • Ted Cruz 15% {10%} [10%]
  • Jeb Bush 12% {13%} [14%] (14%) {11%} [8%] (10%)
  • Rand Paul 10% {14%} [18%] (15%) {5%} [11%] (9%)
  • Chris Christie 9% {10%} [16%] (12%) {12%} [16%] (15%)
  • Paul Ryan 8% {9%} [15%] (10%) {12%} [6%] (5%)
  • Scott Walker 6% {7%}
  • Marco Rubio 4% {3%} [11%] (16%) {12%} [10%] (7%)
  • Rick Santorum 3% [6%] {10%} [17%] (16%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 13% {11%} [7%] (7%) {8%} [8%] (10%)

Among Men

  • Ted Cruz 20% {10%} [13%]
  • Mike Huckabee 18% {19%} (14%) {13%} [13%] (11%)
  • Jeb Bush 11% {9%} [13%] (16%) {11%} [8%] (9%)
  • Rand Paul 11% {14%} [21%] (14%) {6%} [16%] (10%)
  • Chris Christie 10% {7%} [17%] (12%) {14%} [15%] (17%)
  • Scott Walker 6% {11%}
  • Paul Ryan 6% {8%} [11%] (10%) {7%} [8%] (3%)
  • Marco Rubio 5% {3%} [10%] (17%) {15%} [8%] (9%)
  • Rick Santorum 3% [5%] {10%} [17%] (19%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 10% {9%} [4%] (6%) {8%} [5%] (11%)

Among Women 

  • Mike Huckabee 23% {15%} (18%) {17%} [21%] (22%)
  • Jeb Bush 14% {17%} [15%] (12%) {11%} [8%] (12%)
  • Paul Ryan 11% {9%} [19%] (10%) {17%} [5%] (8%)
  • Ted Cruz 9% {9%} [7%]
  • Rand Paul 8% {14%} [14%] (16%) {5%} [5%] (8%)
  • Chris Christie 7% {15%} [16%] (11%) {10%} [16%] (13%)
  • Scott Walker 5% {1%}
  • Rick Santorum 4% [7%] {11%} [17%] (14%)
  • Marco Rubio 3% {3%} [12%] (16%) {10%} [11%] (4%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 17% {13%} [10%] (8%) {9%} [10%] (10%)

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net} 

  • Mike Huckabee 70% {63%} (64%) {68%} [68%] (69%) / 14% {19%} (22%) {16%} [20%] (12%) {+56%}
  • Sarah Palin 68% {61%} {60%} [60%] (70%) / 18% {21%} {26%} [26%] (17%) {+50%}
  • Rick Santorum 62% {44%} [57%] {64%} [65%] (68%) / 13% {21%} [15%] {18%} [22%] (17%) {+49%}
  • Rand Paul 60% {59%} [60%] (55%) {48%} [49%] (54%) / 12% {15%} [15%] (19%) {28%} [29%] (15%) {+48%}
  • Ted Cruz 58% {40%} [27%] / 11% {14%} [12%] {+47%}
  • Paul Ryan 60% {63%} [68%] (63%) {83%} [49%] (44%) / 15% {13%} [12%] (16%) {13%} [14%] (8%) {+45%}
  • Marco Rubio 51% {42%} [54%] (54%) {59%} [57%] (46%) / 10% {14%} [14%] (13%) {11%} [13%] (7%) {+41%}
  • Scott Walker 47% {39%} / 8% {12%} {+39%}
  • Rick Perry 53% {45%} (43%) / 16% {17%} (28%) {+37%}
  • Bobby Jindal 41% {36%} [42%] (43%) / 9% {10%} [14%] (11%) {+32%}
  • Ben Carson 37% / 6% {+31%}
  • Jeb Bush 48% {50%} [58%] (55%) {60%} [53%] (62%) / 25% {17%} [17%] (17%) {11%} [19%] (9%) {+23%}
  • John Kasich 18% {11%} / 10% {13%} {+8%}
  • Chris Christie 36% {38%} [45%] (36%) {55%} [57%] (50%) / 38% {35%} [27%] (33%) {21%} [17%] (16%) {-2%}
  • Scott Brown 12% / 17% {-5%}
  • Peter King 11% / 19% {-8%}
  • Donald Trump 30% {23%} / 40% {44%} {-10%}
  • Joe Scarborough 10% / 22% {-12%}

Survey of 303 Republican voters was conducted May 15-19, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 5.6 percentage points.  Political ideology: 42%{33%} [45%] (43%) {36%} [37%] (46%) Very conservative; 37% {39%} [33%] (31%) {39%} [40%] (35%) Somewhat conservative; 16%{21%} [16%] (21%) {19%} [16%] (14%) Moderate; 3% {5%} [5%] (5%) {3%} [6%] (3%) Somewhat liberal; 1% {2%} [1%] (1%) {3%} [1%] (2%) Very liberal.  Results from the poll conducted February 20-23, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 5-7, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted February 1-3, 2013 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted November 3-4, 2012 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 12-15, 2012 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted May 3-6, 2012 are in parentheses.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

  9:28 am 2016, Iowa Caucuses, Mike Huckabee, Poll Watch  

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