At the bottom is Pawlenty, Santorum and Huntsman
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann sit atop the standings in the year’s first Des Moines Register Iowa Poll on the Republican presidential field.Des Moines Register: Good news for Michele Bachmann, bad news for Tim Pawlenty (at 6%) who has the biggest campaign in Iowa and spent the most time in the state.
Romney, the national front-runner and a familiar face in Iowa after his 2008 presidential run, attracts support from 23 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers. Bachmann, who will officially kick off her campaign in Iowa on Monday, nearly matches him, with 22 percent.
“She’s up there as a real competitor and a real contender,” said Republican pollster Randy Gutermuth, who is unaffiliated with any of the presidential candidates. “This would indicate that she’s going to be a real player in Iowa.”
Former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain, who has never held public office but has found a following among tea party supporters, comes in third, with 10 percent.
The other candidates tested register in single digits: former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, 7 percent each; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 6 percent; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 4 percent; and former Utah Gov. and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, 2 percent.
Pawlenty has spent 26 days in Iowa during this election cycle, has hired an A-list team of Iowa campaign operatives and was the first major candidate to air television ads in Iowa