Thursday, August 09, 2007

McCain polls behind Obama in Iowa

I found this story through Carpetbagger, and even I couldn't believe it. Carpetbagger found a University of Iowa poll that shows the McCain campaign to be in a complete collapse of support by the GOP. According to this University of Iowa poll:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to have taken a commanding lead in Iowa among registered Republican voters and Republican caucus goers, according to a new University of Iowa poll released today, Wednesday, Aug. 8. Poll results also indicate that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has lost support, and support for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has collapsed well into the third tier of candidates.


The changes among Republican voters since March are dramatic. Romney is now the preferred candidate at 21.8 percent -- double his March support.

Giuliani's support, 10 percent, decreased by almost 8.5 percent. McCain's support has collapsed in Iowa. His support among registered Republicans dropped from 14.4 percent in March to 1.8 percent in July-August. UI political scientists note that McCain has been passed in popularity not only by former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., who earned 5.2 percent support, but also by a Democratic challenger, [Barack] Obama, who is supported by 6.7 percent of Republicans. No other candidate received more than 3 percent support.

Fewer Republicans are undecided now (34.8 percent) than in March (39.9 percent). Still, the percentage of undecided Republicans is nearly 12 points higher than the percentage of undecided Democrats.

The PDF file of the poll results can be found here.

This McCain support of 1.8 percent is the poll of registered Republican voters selecting both Democratic and Republican candidates here. What this means is that 6.7 percent of Republicans polled here would choose Barack Obama, while 1.8 percent of Republicans polled would choose McCain. Even worst for McCain, he is practically tied with Democrat Hillary Clinton, who polled 2.1 percent of registered Republicans. Barring a miracle from God, the McCain campaign is practically history. The campaign has around $2 million left in its coffers, and the campaign has bee plagued with staff resignations and layoffs. The Straight Talk Express is running on fumes here. What is more, the McCain campaign is facing a Romney campaign that has around $14 million in the bank, and a Giuliani campaign that has $17 million. McCain doesn't have the money to fight against Romney or Giuliani. In a sense, this drop in the Iowa poll really shows the desperation that John McCain is probably feeling as his campaign sinks. McCain has already backtracked away from his sunny optimism of winning the war in Iraq, saying that he's "not positive we can win this fight." His strategy of aligning himself to an even more pro-war position than President Bush, in order to court hard-lined conservatives, at a time when the American public has turned against the war, has completely failed. Republican voters are starting to turn towards Romney, even though there is still a significant number that would like to choose a different candidate. According to the Iowa poll:

Caucus goers of both parties were asked to name the candidate they intend to support. They were not given candidates' names as a prompt. Participants were asked questions about the top candidates in their own party: the extent to which each candidate is the party's strongest candidate, and whether each candidate is electable. Republican caucus goers were also asked a series of questions about the Straw Poll in Ames.

Of the caucus sample of 787 voters, 303 self-identified as Republicans. The margin of error for this subsample is +/-5.5 percent.

Nearly a third -- 31.1 percent -- of the self-identified Republican caucus goers remained undecided. With 26.9 percent, Romney led his nearest competitor, Giuliani (11.3 percent), by more than 15 percent. Thompson was third with 6.5 percent, followed by Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., both at 4.2 percent. With 3.2 percent, McCain was the only remaining Republican with more than 3 percent.

Now this poll question is asking Republicans who they would support of their own political party's candidates. John McCain polled behind Romney, Giuliani, Thompson (who has not yet declared his candidacy), Tancredo, and Brownback. If John McCain remains in sixth place at the end of the Iowa caucuses, I doubt that he will continue campaigning through New Hampshire. McCain may either bow out after Iowa, or he will continue to run a skeletal campaign through New Hampshire (Or South Carolina, if the money holds out) in order to gain whatever delegates he can to play spoiler during the Republican National Convention. It is all going to depend on how much money McCain can raise after Iowa, and how fiscally tight the campaign can be in spending. But at the moment, a McCain presidency appears to be pretty much finished.

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