An ocean of fluidity floods the race for the GOP presidential nomination, which means Iowans should brace for the possibility of additional changing tides of voter support before the Jan. 3 caucuses, political insiders concurred Sunday after studying results of the latest Iowa Poll.
“I think now as they look at Speaker (Newt) Gingrich’s record, as they look at Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, I have no doubt that people will come back home on Jan. 3 and vote for me,” U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., confidently predicted in an interview Sunday with The Des Moines Register.
Bachmann has 8 percent support of likely Republican caucusgoers in The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll. Gingrich tops the poll at 25 percent, followed by Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas, at 18 percent, and Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, with 16 percent.
That’s a dramatic shakeup from the previous Iowa Poll, conducted in late October, when retired Georgia business executive Herman Cain led the pack, followed by Romney and Paul. In October, Gingrich had just 7 percent support.
What also stands out in the poll results: More than 70 percent of likely caucusgoers are still up for grabs. Eleven percent aren’t yet ready to name a first choice, and 60 percent say they could be persuaded to support another candidate. That finding was highlighted by half a dozen political insiders or campaign operatives interviewed by the Register on Sunday.
Such a high level of indecision isn’t unprecedented at this point in the race. It was about the same level four years ago among likely Republican caucusgoers at this point in the campaign, according to an Iowa Poll conducted then.