On Thursday, August 28, Politico reported on a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll that said 35 percent of likely GOP caucus voters would vote for Mitt Romney in 2016 if he was added to the field of candidates. The poll released one day after it was reported that Mitt Romney was considering a third presidential run.
By considering a third presidential run, Romney said that while he has insisted for months that he will not run, "circumstances could change."
"In Wednesday’s survey of 170 likely caucus voters, 9 percent said they would vote for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, putting him in a distant second to Romney," Politico reports. "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum both came in third at 6 percent, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tied for fifth with 5 percent."The survey took a much broader look at elections and issues in Iowa, surveying 500 people who said they are very or somewhat likely to vote in the 2014 general election. A little over 31 percent of those polled said they are registered Republicans. Interestingly enough, registered independents made up a larger chunk of respondents at 36.8 percent (184 people).
The questions pertaining to the 2016 GOP caucus were specifically directed at registered Republicans and the independent respondents who said they will vote in the Republican caucus.
Respondents were first asked who their first choice would be among the possible field of presidential candidates. In total, 206 people answered this question. Of the choices available to respondents, more people (approximately 17%) said they currently do not know who they will be supporting while 13 percent (27 people) said they support Mike Huckabee.
Pollsters then asked respondents to give their second choice, followed by the question on Mitt Romney. In total, 170 people participated in these two questions -- 60 of whom said they would vote for Mitt Romney if his name was added to the list of choices. All it takes is 60 people to decide that not only is a candidate a viable 2016 presidential contender, but might as well be considered the frontrunner.
That is, at least, how Politico is reporting it with the headline, "Poll: Mitt Romney breaks away in Iowa."
This is the type of narrative that ends up driving the mainstream discussion about elections. We are deciding who is a viable candidate because 60 people -- a number that is not even statistically significant when looking at the Iowa voting population -- have decided this is the best person to represent everyone else in the country.
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