The Campaign Spot

Iowa: Newt Leads, Then Mitt, Then Ron Paul

According to Marist, 9 percent of Iowa caucusgoers listed their top choice as Herman Cain in their most recent survey. That’s a significant chunk that is now up for grabs.

Newt Gingrich leads at 26 percent, Mitt Romney is at 18 percent, and Ron Paul is just behind him at 17 percent. Rick Perry is also at 9 percent, and “undecided” is at 9 percent.

(Heh. If you listed Cain, Perry and Undecided together, you get “9-9-9.”)

Some had wondered if Iowa could be a springboard for Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum, but right now, both are at 5 percent.

Could a bad performance in Iowa January 3 mean the end of one or both of their campaigns by January 4, and an endorsement some days later?

Jon Huntsman is at 2 percent, and his folks would be the first to tell you that they’re not putting much time or energy into Iowa, focusing on New Hampshire instead.

UPDATE: Hey, remember when this was the year that the Republican field was going to break away from pandering on ethanol? Remember how this year was going to be the year that fury over runaway spending was going to overtake the usual pandering to primary state constituencies?

Yeah, not so much. Recall from January of this year:

The former Speaker blew through Des Moines last Tuesday for the Renewable Fuels Association summit, and his keynote speech to the ethanol lobby was as pious a tribute to the fuel made from corn and tax dollars as we’ve ever heard. Mr. Gingrich explained that “the big-city attacks” on ethanol subsidies are really attempts to deny prosperity to rural America, adding that “Obviously big urban newspapers want to kill it because it’s working, and you wonder, ‘What are their values?’”

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