Romney, Bachman Hawkeye Toppers

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Getty

Des Moines Register poll:

Romney                23

Bachmann            22

Cain                       10

Gingrich                 7

Paul                        7

Pawlenty               6

Santorum             4

Huntsman            2

For Romney, this means his strategy of downplaying Iowa but still doing well enough to exceed expectations is right on track. If no Establishment candidate catches on in the caucuses, Romney could "steal" Iowa (with insurgents splitting that segment of the vote), and wrap up the nomination in New Hampshire. But the big news out of this survey is Bachmann: the poll demonstrates that as she kicks off her campaign this weekend, she already has extraordinary strength. For Cain, it shows what he is doing continues to work. For Pawlenty, it shows that it is going to take more in Iowa than what he has done already to win a contest he almost certainly has to win (or "win" in some expectation-defying manner) to become the nominee. To be grouped with Gingrich and Santorum at this point just isn't where he needs to be, to say the least. If Pawlenty had gotten a good result, he could have taken it to donors to try to head off a very poor showing in the second quarter fundraising derby. It is hard to look at these numbers (pending Rick Perry's decision) and not declare that Bachmann is the clear frontrunner for the Ames straw poll.
Related Topics: 2012 Elections, News, Polls

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