Paul Holds Slim Lead in Iowa Ahead of Caucuses

Paul Holds Slim Lead in Iowa Ahead of Caucuses

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - December 28, 2011

With less than a week to go until the Iowa caucuses, Texas Rep. Ron Paul holds a slim lead over his Republican presidential rivals in the Hawkeye State, according to a new poll.

The congressman attracts 24 percent support from likely caucus-goers, according to a new Public Policy Polling (D) survey. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney comes within striking distance with 20 percent support. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has dropped 14 points since a PPP poll released in early December and comes in third with 13 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann gets 11 percent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum tie with 10 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who isn't competing in Iowa, receives 4 percent.

Paul holds a commanding lead among independents, with 46 percent of that support. Bachmann receives 13 percent and Romney gets 11 percent. Romney, though, leads among Republicans with 22 percent. Paul gets 20 percent and Gingrich receives 13 percent. The Texas lawmaker also leads among moderate voters, with 29 percent of the support. Romney gets 23 percent and Bachmann receives 12 percent. Bachmann leads among those who identify with the Tea Party, attracting 24 percent. Paul receives 21 percent and Gingrich gets 17 percent.

Santorum appears to be the most well-liked, attracting the highest net favorability rating with a positive-27 percent. He's been campaigning aggressively in the state, visiting all 99 counties and holding approximately 200 campaign events. Bachmann receives a positive-16 percent favorability rating, Paul gets a positive-13 percent, Perry earns a positive-8 percent. Both Gingrich and Romney get net negative favorability ratings.

Iowans will officially weigh in on these White House hopefuls on Jan. 3.

PPP (D) surveyed 565 likely Republican caucus voters from Dec. 26-27. The sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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