Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Who is most likely to benefit from Scott Walker dropping out? Fiorina and Rubio according to the latest PPP poll in Iowa

I'm really shocked by Scott Walker dropping out, I knew that his poll numbers were abysmal (<1% nationally in the latest CNN poll) but given his Iowa infrastructure I would think he would have tried to make it at least to the caucuses.  I guess there must have been extreme financial mismanagement at his campaign and he got too big too quickly and without the campaign money (not including Super PAC dollars) to back it all up.  He probably listened to too many people who said he was great and so didn't think his star could fade this fast.  Think about it, just a month and a half ago he was center stage at the first debate, then he was closer to the fringes in the second and now he is completely gone.  Just a shocking descent.  I actually liked him and supported him early, as many people did, and was just turned off by his debate performance at the first debate.  I also supported Tim Pawlenty last cycle around the same point (I can pick 'em can't I?  I guess I like nice guys up until I want them to stop being nice).

So the question is who will get Scott Walker's supporters now that he is out of the picture.  I realize his actual number of voter support is small at this point but his donor support/rolodex is kind of important.  Most people think they will go to Marco Rubio, which does make some sense but people have to remember this is a 15 candidate field, so it's split many ways.  Luckily, the folks at PPP just did a poll of Iowa voters and did ask people who their second choices were:

Carly Fiorina actually gets the most Scott Walker voters, netting 19% while Marco Rubio gets 15%.  And importantly for Carly, she is now the top 2nd choice candidate in the race, so she should continue to profit as people drop out.  Carson, who I think will inevitably be a train wreck could net Fiorina 30% of his support, head and shoulders above any other candidate.

What's also interesting about this is that it is conventional wisdom to say that Ted Cruz is positioned to benefit from Donald Trump losing support because he has refrained from criticizing him.  The numbers don't seem to support this belief.  According to this poll, Cruz is the 2nd choice of only 6% of Trump voters in Iowa.  The people who will most benefit are the other true outsiders, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.

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