A new poll released Monday shows that President Donald J. Trump is the overwhelming choice of Iowa Republicans with support from 56 percent of respondents compared to 12 percent supporting Florida Ronald D. “Ron” DeSantis in the poll conducted November 3 through November 5, and November 8 and 12, by Neighborhood Research and Media.
Neighborhood Research and Media asked participants: “If the 2024 Iowa Caucus were today, who would be your first choice for president?”
Following DeSantis were South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, 2.1 percent; Sen. Thomas B. “Tom” Cotton (R.-Ark.) and former Vice President Michael R. Pence, 1.6 percent, said Rick Shaftan, the political consultant running NR&M.
Former United Nations Ambassador N. Nikki Haley, Sen. R. Edward “Ted” Cruz Jr. (R.-Texas), Sen. Marco A. Rubio (R.-Fla.) and Sen. Timothy E. “Tim” Scott (R.-S.C.) all were to first choice of 1 percent or fewer of the respondents.
“The question for Trump is whether 56 percent is the high point or is it the low point,” he said.
Twenty-one percent said they were undecided.
Shaftan said there were roughly 40 names mentioned by participants and that the participants were not prompted with any names.
The poll comes just over a year after Trump won the state in the 2020 presidential race with 54 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Biden was the first Democratic candidate to be declared president without winning Iowa since former Georgia governor James E. “Jimmy” Carter beat President Gerald R. Ford in 1976.
One measure of Trump’s popularity in Iowa is that along with Ohio and Florida, the Hawkeye State voted for President Barack Obama twice and Trump twice. Another measure is that Trump received 97 percent of the votes in the 2020 Iowa Caucuses.
Shaftan said DeSantis was the other winner in the poll.
“DeSantis is aggressively fighting the left,” he said. “He’s getting attention and he’s sucking up a lot of the oxygen in the room – and others can’t compete.”
Shaftan said one of the red flags for Trump is his weakness with men.
“President Trump has a reverse gender gap, the opposite from what was seen earlier in his career,” he said.
“It was the same thing we saw in 2020 in the presidential,” he said.
“Trump was underperforming with men, which I found was a big problem at the time – it worried me a lot,” the consultant said. “For a Republican to win, you need to have big numbers with men. The Left likes to talk about the gender gap, when there is no gender gap that’s a bad sign for us,” he said.
Trump’s weakness men also hurt him with women, he said. “It is not politically correct, but it’s true: men drive the vote of women more than women drive the vote of men.”
The gender gap was starker with voters older than 35, he said. “Trump led DeSantis 64 percent to 7 percent, but only led the Florida governor 49 percent to 16 percent with men older than 35.”
When asked for their second choice, Trump led with 62 percent, DeSantis with 38 percent, followed with Noem, 4 percent and Pence and Cruz both with 3 percent, he said.
The poll results are based on the responses from 375 Iowans who voted in either the 2016, 2018 or 2020 Republican primaries and who said they would either definitely or would very likely participate in the 2024 Republican caucuses and carries a 5.50 percent margin of error.
– – –
Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network. Follow him at Twitter: @neilwmccabe2.