New Bloomberg poll from Iowa makes all the talk of rising and falling frontrunners seem pointless, with Romney (the legacy frontrunner), Cain (the why-God-why? frontrunner), Gingrich (the "we need someone new to talk about this week" frontrunner) and now Ron Paul, the brand-new, let's-see-if-anyone-notices frontrunner in Iowa all in a statistical tie. The poll has:
Cain at 20 percent, Paul at 19 percent, Romney at 18 percent and Gingrich at 17 percent among the likely attendees with the caucuses that start the nominating contests seven weeks away.
Better news for Paul buried toward the end of the story:
Among likely caucus-goers who say their minds are made up, Paul leads with 32 percent, followed by Romney at 25 percent and Gingrich, a former House speaker, at 17 percent.
Among Paul supporters who backed him in the 2008 caucuses, 69 percent are still with him now.
Paul's campaign is also showing the strongest political ground game, with 67 percent of the likely caucus goers saying he or she has "been contacted by the campaign through email, direct mail, telephone, or by someone coming to your door in the past year or by meeting the candidate in person." The closest competitor on that is Bachmann, with 61 percent saying the same. Cain's campaign has only hit 41 percent of the likely caucus voters, and Gingrich only 29 percent.
Full poll results, for which Bloomberg interviewed 2,677 registered Republicans or independents, finding 503 likely caucus voters. The numbers are all based on those 503, with a 4.4 percent margin of error.
Interestingly, the likely Iowa caucus voters think Paul, who openly derided the sense of a border wall and suggested it could be used to keep us in at the September 7 Reagan Library debate, is the candidate who "would do the most to halt illegal immigration," at 17 percent. (19 percent were not sure which candidate would do the most to halt it.)
Yes, Iowa is not the nation (ask the Huckabee '08 campaign--if you can find it!!), but this is good news for potential Republican Party sanity.