I normally don’t like to write on polls, but I think that this one tells us a lot about the future of the GOP race in Iowa. David Yepsen comments here. I am going to write this as a two-parter. The first part is about the numbers. The second part is about the strategy that I think needs to follow from the numbers, for some of the candidates.
The most interesting bit is this: Mike Huckabee is, effectively, tied with Rudy Giuliani for third. And the trends are good for Huckabee and bad for Giuliani.
Some of the subgroup questions are interesting.
For McCain immigration is the problem:
Among those polled whose first choice was someone other than McCain, 58 percent say his support for a plan that would have offered illegal immigrants a path to citizenship is a major factor in not getting behind his candidacy.
For Romney, it seems to be flip-floppery:
But criticism of Romney as a politician who changes positions on key issues, rather than sticking to his convictions, appears to have had an impact. Among likely caucus participants whose first choice is someone other than Romney, 51 percent say his shifting of positions on issues like abortion is a major factor in not supporting him.
Giuliani, it is abortion:
Giuliani appears to be paying a political price, however, for his support for abortion rights. Among likely caucus participants whose first choice was someone other than the former New York mayor, 55 percent say his abortion stance is a major factor in not backing him.
Thompson seems to have the most potential:
Another plus for Thompson is that 10 percent of the supporters of other candidates would seriously consider him and an additional 53 percent might consider him if they knew more about him. Those are better marks than any other candidate received.