The Iowa Caucus Is Trump’s To Lose, New Poll Shows

Former President Donald Trump holds a spatula with a hamburger on it as he works the grill during a stop at the Alpha Gamma Rho, agricultural fraternity, at Iowa State University before an NCAA college football game between Iowa State and Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

All the Iowa caucus polls make one thing clear: Donald Trump is winning.

The former president remains the Republican presidential primary frontrunner despite four indictments on 91 charges, a viral Georgia mugshot, being found liable of sexual abuse, and instigating an attack on the nation’s capitol less than three years ago.

The latest poll from Iowa State University and Civiqs—conducted Sept. 2-7—shows that 51% of Republican caucus-goers have named Trump their top choice. 

As is the case in many national polls, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is in second at 14% followed by former ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 10% and Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 9%. 

The poll shows DeSantis leading the pack at 21% for people’s second choice followed by Ramaswamy at 18%, US Sen. Tim Scott at 16%, Trump at 13%, and Hayley at 11%.

Iowa State Political Science Professor Dave Peterson, who organized the poll with the help of four graduate students, answered five questions from Starting Line about the poll results.

Starting Line: Is there any chance Trump won’t win the Iowa Caucus?

Peterson: I am not sure what it would take. Trump is clearly the favorite of Iowa Republicans. He literally has more support than all the other candidates put together. And his supporters are committed, 75% of them say they have made up their mind. In contrast, only 25% of those not supporting Trump say they have made up their minds. I think that people underestimate their willingness to change, but that is still a pretty strong signal that Trump supporters aren’t going anywhere if nothing major changes.

Starting Line: Can Nikki Hayley or Vivek Ramaswamy catch DeSantis for that No. 2 spot?

Peterson: I think so. I’d add Tim Scott to this list too. DeSantis is in second right now, but the gap between him and the next three is fairly small. My sense is that people also know more about him than the others, meaning that he has less room to convince people who haven’t been paying as close attention. Haley, in particular, has a message that is a little distinct from the other second-tier candidates. Support for Ukraine is one of the few issues that splits the party, and she is mostly on her own supporting continued American efforts to help the Ukrainians.

Starting Line: Can Tim Scott ride the evangelical wave to a top 3 finish?

Peterson: Tim Scott’s big strength right now is that he has very little opposition. Fewer than half as many respondents in our survey say they oppose him as said they oppose any of the other top candidates. He might have the highest ceiling of any candidate other than Trump.

Starting Line: Aside from Pence’s low polling (Pence was 1% in the ISU/Civiqs poll), what’s your biggest takeaway from the results?

Peterson: This is Trump’s party and Trump’s campaign to lose. I am not sure what is going to change that. The plurality of our Republican respondents thought that Trump won the election and had it stolen from him and think that he didn’t do anything wrong in any of his legal cases. Those seem like to two largest possible liabilities for him, and his supporters in our survey just don’t believe those things.


by Ty Rushing

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1 Comment on "The Iowa Caucus Is Trump’s To Lose, New Poll Shows"

  • Need better proofreading. According to this article Trump is at 51% and 13%. Also Nikki’s last name is spelled “Haley” not “Hayley.” BTW…America deserves better than a Biden-Trump rematch. If those are the nominees, then I’m looking at 3rd party candidates.

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