Scott Walker holds lead in Iowa poll, but maybe not for long

Gov. Scott Walker, a frontrunner from neighboring Wisconsin, is leading Iowa Republican caucuses, but his numbers are dropping.

Reuters/Mark Leffingwell
Potential Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker waves to the crowd during the Western Conservative Summit in Denver on Friday.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is leading the Iowa Republican caucuses, but his support is slipping among likely Republican caucus participants, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

According to recent polling numbers, Gov. Walker’s support has been steadily dropping, from 25 percent in a February 25 survey to 21 percent on May 6 to 18 percent in recent weeks.

The governor, a frontrunner from neighboring Wisconsin, is expected to announce his presidential candidacy July 13 and center his campaign efforts on the battleground state, according to Politico.

“Behind Walker are a half-dozen wannabes who are fighting for second place,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“Those who thought the Republican race in the Iowa caucuses might begin to clarify itself better think again,” added Mr. Brown. “As even more candidates toss their hats into the ring, the race has gotten even more muddled.”

Indeed, the latest numbers do point to an increasingly crowded GOP presidential field, and an increasingly challenging task for voters trying to keep them all straight. At 10 percent each, Donald Trump and Ben Carson tied for second place in the latest poll, while Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas each came in at 9 percent.

Trailing behind one and two points respectively were Florida’s former governor and another GOP favorite Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

One of the reasons there are so many Republicans running this year is the lack of a single clear frontrunner, writes the Monitor’s Linda Feldmann. “This year, there’s no next-in-line candidate poised to clear the field. Even former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the son and brother of former presidents, hasn’t deterred a flood of competitors.”

As President Obama winds down his second term in office, Republicans are also eager to demonstrate that it’s once again their party’s turn at the wheel. Some are also just jockeying for attention in hopes of raising their public profiles, according to Ms. Feldmann.

But the real reason is the potential for high-rolling donors. After the Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission enabled super PACs to form, allowing the ability to float essentially any candidate in a race, Republican presidential candidates are hopeful, writes Feldmann, “that they can catch on and watch the money roll in."

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