He could unite the rebel alliance…
IOWA – Scott Walker’s popularity streak in Iowa is real: He’s seven percentage points ahead of his nearest competition in the presidential horse race here, chased by a tight pack of four in a clear top tier: Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee.
Marco Rubio lags in a single-digit scrum, but a deeper look into the numbers shows that if Walker is the hare in Iowa, Rubio may be the tortoise, potentially positioned to pull ahead if he campaigns hard, a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll finds.
Walker, a Wisconsin governor known for imposing restrictions on labor unions, hasn’t officially announced he’s running for the White House in 2016, but he’s the first choice for 17 percent of likely GOP caucusgoers in Iowa, making him the one to beat in an oversized field of 16 Republicans tested.
“He’s fearless,” said poll respondent Suzanne Sawyer, a 53-year-old Fort Dodge small-business owner who considers herself very conservative. “He will do what’s right for the people that he was elected by. He has proven that in Wisconsin — he went to bat on collective bargaining to get things back in line financially. He’s out to do what’s best for the state, not what’s best for him politically.”
Two-thirds of likely Republican caucusgoers view Walker favorably, the highest in the poll, including nearly a third of respondents who view him very favorably.
Walker is now more solidly the front-runner than in a January Iowa Poll, when he had 15 percent and was a lone percentage point ahead of Rand Paul, a Kentucky U.S. senator who agitates against government snooping and warmongering. Paul remains in second place, tied at 10 percent with Ben Carson, a retired brain surgeon who leads with women who plan to attend the GOP caucuses. (read more)