Why Chris Christie Might Want to Think About Skipping Iowa

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

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.