Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The 2016 Iowa Caucus and the TEA Party

Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a new poll from Iowa for 2016 which makes looking at the Iowa caucus even easier for me.  One of the findings is that less than 20% (19%) of the Republicans they polled identify as members of the TEA Party.  This is a little lower than what they found nationally.  They found that 24% of Republicans nationally identify with the TEA Party.  This probably is not a true percentage due to the negative impressions that the TEA Party has nationally.  This is the old polling conundrum.  People will respond with what they think people want to hear.  People aren't going to admit they're racist, for instance.  This may also explain why same sex marriage consistently polls with positive numbers.  Again, that's a subject for a different day.  16% of respondents stated that they were not sure if they identify as with the TEA Party.  But as we'll see, about half of them are leaning to the TEA Party.

Overall, the newest poll shows Scott Walker winning overall among Republicans at 23%.  Second place is Marco Rubio at 13%.  This illustrates some of the problems with polling this early.  People who are in the news or announce their presidential candidacy will have a bump very similar to the convention bounce or the bump when a candidate names their vice-presidential candidate.

More interestingly and more relevant to this bloggie is the crosstabs as we look to see who will be the candidate who receives the most support from the TEA Party.  Republicans in Iowa are split whether it is more important to them that the candidate is the most conservative on the issues or if the candidate should be chosen if they have the best chance of beating the Democrat in the general election.  44% think the former and 45% believe the latter.

We see the fake philosophical divide in the Republican Party, though.  The TEA Party has no such split.  Over 70% of those identifying with the TEA Party believe that the candidate should be chosen if they are the most conservative on the issues.  Only 25% of those in the TEA Party believe that they should choose the candidate who has the best chance of beating the Democrat in the general election.  Outside of the TEA Party, 54% of Republicans believe that the biggest concern in choosing the candidate should be based on who has the best chance of beating the Democrat in the general election.   Those who are not sure if they identify with the TEA Party, 46% of them believe the biggest concern is if the candidate is the most conservative on the issues.

The TEA Party, though, has come to agree with a plurality of Iowa Republicans that Scott Walker is their first choice.  Walker is leading among TEA partiers at 25% (compared to 22% of non-TEA partiers).  In second place, is Ted Cruz at 18% of the TEA party voters.  Cruz does not crack 5% among non-TEA partiers.  Although among those who are not sure if they are a part of the TEA Party Cruz does slightly better, garnering 13% of the support.  Rounding out the top three is another Senator who ran heavily as a member of the TEA Party, Rand Paul at 14%.

Scott Walker is doing very well among TEA Party supporters.  20% of those identifying with the TEA Party name him as their 2nd choice.  Not only is Walker winning for 1st choice among TEA Party supporters, he is also winning their 2nd choice.  Walker is a force to be reckoned with.  The scary part is Walker is doing so well in Iowa that he is the first and second choice for all Iowa Republicans.  He is seen as the choice who believe they should nominate the most conservative candidate and the choice for those who believe they should nominate the candidate with the best chance of winning the general election.

To continue our theme of coalition building to be able to win Iowa or any of the primary states, it'd be too easy to look at Walker who is doing great among all segments of the Republican primary base.  We can see where Ted Cruz is starting his coalition deep inside the Republican Party.  One of the most recent statements being made now is that Marco Rubio has a shot to reach out to TEA Partiers and moderates.  Rubio currently has 10% of the TEA Party partisans which ties him with Ben Carson.  Rubio is only ahead of Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, and Chris Christie among supporters of the TEA Party.  If Rubio is serious about winning the presidential nomination, he will need to reach out to get more of the TEA Party support.  In doing so, however, he may lose support among the moderate section of the Republican Party (yes, it still exists).  Rand Paul can siphon off support from the TEA Party wing without compromising his beliefs...hahahaha who am I kidding? Paul has a chance of combining his libertarian wing of the Republican base as his foundation and combining it with the TEA Party wing of the Republican Party.  It won't be very long after he wins over some of their support that he denies that he "wrote" a book about riding the TEA Party wave into the Senate in order to curry favor with the moderate wing or for the general election.

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