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December 16, 2013 12:24 PM Why Chris Christie Might Want to Think About Skipping Iowa

By Ed Kilgore

The Des Moines Register put out a poll of favorability ratings for potential 2016 presidential candidates over the weekend, and there were some findings not terribly compatible with the popular idea that a chastened GOP is about to abandon movement conservatism for a “pragmatic” ticket headed by Chris Christie or Jeb Bush.

Matter of fact, Christie (30%) and Bush (26%) topped the list in unfavorable ratings among Iowa Republicans. And both trailed Paul Ryan (73%), Mike Huckabee (66%), Rick Santorum (58%) and Rick Perry (55%), and tied Rand Paul (51%), in favorable ratings.

Three potential candidates, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker should probably get “incompletes” on this Iowa report card due to high “not sure” ratings (37% for Cruz, 39% for Rubio, 43% for Walker), indicating low name ID despite massive national attention. But there’s nothing much in this poll—particularly since it’s of all self-identified Republicans, not the smaller set of likely caucus-goers who tilt significantly more to the Right—that indicates the conservative movement’s grip on the Iowa GOP has loosened.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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