Third straight Iowa poll has Bachmann at top


Photo: Courtesy of David S. Holloway/CNN

Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann signs autographs for audience members after the CNN GOP Debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 13.

CNN Wire Service

Call it a polling hat trick. For the third time this week, a survey of likely Iowa GOP caucusgoers has Republican presidential candidate and Rep. Michele Bachmann at the top.

According to a new poll from Mason Dixon Polling and Research, 32 percent of people questioned in the survey say they are backing the congresswoman from neighboring Minnesota for the GOP presidential nomination. At 29 percent is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House. Bachmann’s lead is well within the poll’s sampling error.

The survey indicates that 7 percent are supporting former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, with former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 6 percent. Everyone else was in the low single digits.

Bachmann was also at the top of surveys of likely Iowa caucusgoers released earlier this week from the American Research Group and the In both those polls Bachmann’s lead over Romney was also within the surveys’ sampling errors.

All three polls follow a much-reported recent survey from the Des Moines Register which had Romney at 23 percent and Bachmann at 22 percent. That poll sparked some favorable stories for Bachmann, who earlier in June received positive headlines for her performance at the much-watched CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader GOP presidential debate.

A strong showing in next February’s Iowa caucuses, which kick off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, is crucial for Bachmann’s hopes of winning her party’s nomination.

The release of the new surveys comes just a month away from a straw poll in Ames, Iowa. Bachmann and Pawlenty, as well as Rep. Paul of Texas and a couple of other candidates, are putting a lot of time and effort into getting supporters to attend the influential straw poll.

The Mason Dixon Polling and Research survey was part of an overall survey conducted for the Every Child Matters Education Fund. Three hundred likely Iowa GOP caucus goers were questioned by telephone from July 5 to July 7. The poll’s sampling error is plus or minus 5.7 percentage points.