With the Iowa caucuses just a week away, it’s a good opportunity to update our readers on the latest findings from the Townhall Media Straw Poll. In the latest round of polling, which has taken place over the last 50 days, former (and perhaps future) president Donald Trump has maintained a sizeable lead among our broader Townhall Media audience and Bearing Arms readers specifically.
Among all Townhall Media voters, Trump has a roughly 22-point advantage over his nearest rival, and has captured the votes of an outright majority of our audience. Trump’s the favorite for 57.27 percent of voters in the straw poll, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in second place with 35.43 percent of the vote. Former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley’s in a distant third with 4.41 percent of the vote, and Vivek Ramaswamy trails all other contenders with just 1.71 percent.
Trump fares even better when looking at just the votes from Iowa residents, capturing almost 62 percent of the vote to DeSantis’s 33 percent. Nikki Haley is the only other candidate to garner even 2 percent support among Iowans. Those are eye-popping numbers, and the Trump campaign has been trying to temper expectations in its pre-caucus spin as the caucuses approach.
Trump’s advisers in recent days have been quick to remind reporters — at least privately — that no Republican presidential candidate has won a contested Iowa caucus by more than 12 points since Bob Dole in 1988.
The Trump campaign sees Dole’s margin as the floor for Trump’s victory, a senior adviser told The Associated Press, requesting anonymity to share internal discussions. The adviser described the mood on the campaign as confident but not comfortable, acknowledging questions about the strength of rival organizations and, as always, the weather, which could affect turnout if there is snow or extreme cold.
Still, Trump is the prohibitive favorite heading into the caucuses, with Republicans like New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu claiming that the early primary in his state will be much more competitive.
Haley has fared better in polls of New Hampshire voters, with an American Research Group survey last week showing her within four points of Trump. Among Live Free or Die staters voting in the Townhall Media straw poll, however, Trump holds a much more commanding lead of 67.24 percent to Ron DeSantis’s 26.44 percent. Nikki Haley is almost an afterthought for New Hampshirites in our straw poll, capturing just 2.3 percent of the vote… slightly behind Ramaswamy’s 2.87 percent.
When it comes to Bearing Arms readers the results are largely the same, with one notable exception:
- Donald Trump – 57.45 percent
- Ron DeSantis – 38.3 percent
- Nikki Haley – 4.26 percent
- Vivek Ramaswamy – 0.00 percent
I’m a little surprised that DeSantis isn’t faring better here at Bearing Arms given things like his signing of permitless carry as well as Trump’s ban on bump stocks getting a Supreme Court review, but that may simply be a reflection of the Florida governor’s larger collapse among Republican voters. In that ARG poll of New Hampshire voters, for example, DeSantis received the support of just 5 percent of those surveyed; not only behind Trump and Haley, but Chris Christie as well.
No matter who your first choice for the GOP nomination is, you can still cast your vote in the Townhall Media straw poll right here. I’ve been fascinated with the straw poll results to date, and I’m looking forward to seeing how these numbers match up with the official tallies when the first formal votes are cast in the 2024 Republican primary just a few days from now.