As a brief note, the polling results for Republicans are even harder to understand than for the Democrats. five polls in Iowa show the following: 2 show a solid Huckabee lead, 1shows a small Huckabee lead, 1 shows a large Romney lead, and 1 shows a moderate Romney lead. What are we to make of polls that basically run the gamut of possible results?
On to examining the trends for Republicans as a way to help predict their finishes:
1. These polls are a total mess, as you can see here, courtesy of Real Clear Politics. On to some observations:
2. Ever since Thanksgiving, Romney and Huckabee have had their fortunes tied. Huckabee’s December surge was mirrored perfectly by a Romney collapse, so its no wonder that he’s been lashing out recently. Huckabee didn’t exactly explode onto the stage, the trends show a steady rise that appears to have been missed by the major media outlets.
3. Though he suffered during Huckabee’s surge, Romney has rocketed back to around 29%. You’ll notice that he went from 26% to almost 30% in three days. Huckabee’s peak was a low for every other candidate, but most have bounced back. The only one who didn’t bounce back was Giuliani (steady downward trend, now at 6%, same as Ron Paul)
4. Thompson lagged for the past few months, but had a small boost in the past week or so. He’s now up to 11%, but I could see him struggling to even reach that once the Caucus actually occurs.
5. McCain trended down from April to mid December, reaching a low of 6%, but got a huge boost from his endorsements and increased media attention, and is now at almost 12%. Based on these trends, he could very well outperform his current poll numbers, and I would not be surprised if he snagged up to 20% in Iowa.
6. Lastly, Ron Paul, who sprung up in the polls in October, reaching 5% by mid month. He’s only managed to move up to 6% since then, but with a ton of cash on hand, he could make a move in the closing days. If he breaks 10% he will be in a great position going in to New Hampshire, and because Giuliani has all but conceded Iowa, he has a shot at that goal.