DMR Iowa caucus poll: Same old story for Democrats but a few GOP surprises

It’s been a few weeks since we had a thread on the 2016 Iowa caucuses. Today’s Des Moines Register featured results from the latest statewide poll by Selzer & Co for the Register and Bloomberg News. Selzer surveyed 425 registered voters “who say they definitely or probably will attend” the 2016 Iowa Republican caucuses, and 426 registered voters who plan to attend the Democratic caucuses.

On the Democratic side, it’s the same old story: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the field with 53 percent of respondents naming her as a first choice. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren drew 10 percent support, Vice President Joe Biden 9 percent, Secretary of State and 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry got 7 percent, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders 3 percent, and several others 1 percent or less (the last group included Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who has visited Iowa several times in the last couple of years). Hillary Clinton also registered the highest favorability rating among Democratic respondents (76 percent), shattering the myth that she has a serious “Iowa problem,” at least where the caucuses are concerned.

The Register’s headline screamed, “2016 EARLY TAKE: CLINTON, ROMNEY,” but from where I’m sitting, this poll would not entice the 2012 presidential nominee to try again. Mitt Romney was the first choice of 17 percent of Republican respondents and the second choice of 8 percent. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement of the man who has much higher name recognition than most of the other candidates.

The Selzer poll showed no clear favorites among potential GOP presidential candidates. Ben Carson may be the new “flavor of the month” with 11 percent picking him as a first choice, second to Romney. Perhaps Iowa Republicans are looking for a fresh face after two cycles in a row of nominating men who had run for president before. Nine candidates pulled between 3 percent and 10 percent as a first choice in the Selzer poll, suggesting that the race will be wide open next year. (I’ve posted the full list after the jump.) The findings will be discouraging to former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. Despite winning the 2012 caucuses by a handful of votes, he is now the first choice of only 3 percent of respondents, and the second choice of only 5 percent. Marco Rubio’s immigration reform misadventure may have ruined his image among Iowa Republicans, because he is way down the list in this poll.

Any comments about the next presidential race in Iowa are welcome in this thread.

From the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll from October 1-7, 425 Republican likely caucus-goers, margin of error plus or minus 4.8 percent:

Which one of the following Republican candidates would be your first choice for president? And who would be your second choice?

Mitt Romney: 17 percent first choice, 8 percent second choice

Ben Carson: 11 percent first choice, 7 percent second choice

Rand Paul: 10 percent first choice, 8 percent second choice

Mike Huckabee: 9 percent first choice, 8 percent second choice

Paul Ryan: 8 percent first choice, 10 percent second choice

Ted Cruz: 7 percent first choice, 6 percent second choice

Rick Perry: 7 percent first choice, 6 percent second choice

Chris Christie: 6 percent first choice, 5 percent second choice

former Florida Governor Jeb Bush: 4 percent first choice, 8 percent second choice

Rick Santorum: 3 percent first choice, 5 percent second choice

Marco Rubio: 2 percent first choice, 3 percent second choice

Bobby Jindal: 1 percent first choice, 4 percent second choice

John Kasich: 1 percent first choice, less than 1 percent second choice

Mike Pence: less than 1 percent first choice, 1 percent second choice

Rob Portman: less than 1 percent first or second choice

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