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Eye On Candidates
July 1, 2015

Scott Walker Still Leads in Iowa, but Support Falls Slightly

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been in the top tier of candidates for the past several months, buoyed in part by his strong support in the key early state of Iowa. A new poll shows Walker continuing to lead his rivals in that state, but with his support falling modestly in recent weeks. Politico provides details:

Poll: Walker slipping in Iowa

A new poll out Wednesday shows Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leading the GOP caucuses in neighboring Iowa — but with a slight decrease in support that suggests the first presidential nominating contest on the 2016 calendar remains wide open.

Walker, who is expected to make Iowa the centerpiece of his early campaign efforts after he officially joins the presidential field on July 13, has the support of 18 percent of likely GOP caucus participants, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.

That puts him ahead of a crowded Republican field, though his support is slipping. The decrease from the previous poll — Walker was at 21 percent two months ago — is not statistically significant. But his decline in more pronounced from a Quinnipiac poll in February of this year, in which Walker led the next-closest competitor with a quarter of the vote...

A three point slide is hardly a major worry at this point, and his nearest rivals according to the poll are retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and real estate magnate Donald Trump, both with ten percent. Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are just behind those two at nine percent, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with eight percent and Senator Marco Rubio at seven percent. Several more candidates come in with five percent or less.

The slip in support may be unwelcome for Walker's team, but the overall results of the poll show him becoming better known and better liked, and drawing support from a broad cross-section of Republicans.

Walker continues to run best among conservative caucusgoers, though the poll indicates he appeals to other segments of the likely electorate, too. He wins 21 percent of caucusgoers who say they’re “very conservative,” but he also captures 18 percent of “somewhat conservative” and 12 percent of “moderate” or “liberal” voters...

Walker’s dip at the top actually comes as he’s become better-known — and better-liked. In the new survey, 66 percent of likely caucusgoers have a favorable opinion of him, up from 59 percent in late April and early May, and 57 percent in February. Meanwhile, the percentage who view him unfavorably hasn’t ticked up at all and now sits at just 8 percent. A little over a quarter of caucusgoers said they have no opinion...

Walker has yet to officially enter the campaign, and already holds a sizable lead over his rivals in Iowa. Whatever challenges the campaign holds in the future, he seems to have navigated the pre-announcement phase successfully.