Huckabee, Paul, Bush favorites of Iowa GOP for 2016

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush lead the Republican presidential field in Iowa, a year and a half out from the caucuses in the Hawkeye State.

A Suffolk University Poll released Wednesday has Huckabee as the top choice for 11 percent of Republican caucus-goers, with Paul and Bush tied at 10 percent. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz nine percent, tied with Dr. Ben Carson, who puts on a strong showing. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is at seven percent.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tie at six percent. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are tied at three percent. Three percent of voters are undecided.

Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, has consistently been a top choice for Iowa Republicans since he made it clear that he might make another try at winning the Republican nomination. By contrast, Santorum, the other former caucus winner in the field, appears to be provoking less excitement.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton remains the formidable favorite, and is the choice of 63 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers.

In the Senate race this year, expected Democratic nominee Rep. Bruce Braley leads all of the Republican contenders, in spite of a disastrous case of foot-in-mouth disease reported earlier this month, when he derisively referred to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.”

He leads Sam Clovis by 38-25, Jodi Ernst 38-30, Mark Jacobs 37-31, Scott Schaben 38-25, and Matt Whitaker 38-28. Ernst leads the race for the nomination.

The poll surveyed 800 likely voters from April 3 through April 8, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The Republican portion is based on 127 GOP caucus-goers and has a plus or minus 8.7 percentage point margin of error, and the Democratic portion is based on 135 Demoratic caucus-goers and has a plus or minus 8.4 percentage point margin of error.

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