Scott Walker was the most favored candidate among likely Iowan Republican caucusgoers, a Monmouth University poll revealed Monday. Donald Trump came in second place, with his recent comments regarding John McCain’s status as a war hero seeming to have no effect on his popularity with voters.
When Iowa Republicans were asked who they would support in their local caucus, 22 percent answered Scott Walker. Other candidates and their share of support were Trump (13 percent); Ben Carson (8 percent); and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz (7 percent each).
Iowa’s 2008 winner, Mike Huckabee, secured only 6 percent of voters’ support. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul each attracted 5 percent and Bobby Jindal drew 4 percent.
Walker has been more popular in Iowa than anywhere else in the nation. The Wisconsin governor has enjoyed a 73 percent favorable rating and a 9 percent unfavorable rating among Iowa Republican caucusgoers, while nationally he has a 42 percent favorable rating and an 11 percent unfavorable rating among Republicans.
“Walker has been a favorite of Iowa voters ever since his well-received appearance at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey, according to a news release. “More recently, Trump has outmaneuvered the rest of the field to earn the second spot despite his controversial statements over the weekend.”
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At the Family Leadership Council Summit Saturday in Iowa, Trump ignited a public backlash when he said that McCain, a U.S. senator, former presidential candidate and prisoner of war, was considered a war hero only because he was captured, ABC News reported. Trump's comments did not seem to affect Iowa Republicans’ opinions of him as a Republican presidential candidate. Trump's support in Saturday and Sunday interviews remained unchanged from the 13 percent he earned in Thursday and Friday interviews, while support for Walker rose to 25 percent from 19 percent.
Iowa Republicans said the issue most important to them was national security. Taxes and government spending was the No. 2 issue, followed by the economy.
The poll was conducted by telephone June 16 to 19 among 452 Iowa voters likely to attend the Republican presidential caucuses in February 2016. It has a margin of error of plus/minus 4.6 percent.