The GOP’s Chase for Undecided Iowans

January 14, 2016

When the GOP presidential candidates gather in North Charleston, S.C., on Thursday—19 days before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses—for the Fox Business debate, much will hang on their performances. Even more could depend on the Jan. 28 Fox News debate in Des Moines. These are the last big opportunities for candidates to impress a large audience and shake up the race, just as many early-state voters are deciding whom to back.

In 2012, 46% of New Hampshire GOP primary voters said they made up their mind in the contest’s final three days, and 21% waited until Election Day, according data from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center cited in this newspaper.

A similar pattern held in the 2012 Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 of that year: 28% of Republican caucusgoers said they decided whom to support “in the last few days,” and 18% on caucus day, according to exit polls. Another 21% said that they made up their mind in December. So a whopping 67% of Republicans chose their horse in the last month before the caucuses.

But will these late deciders upset the contest, as they did in 2012? Nineteen days before that year’s caucuses, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum sat in sixth place in Iowa, with 6% in the Real Clear Politics average. But late deciders helped him jump to 24.6% and win the state. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who led 19 days out with 26%, finished in fourth place with 13.3%.

To read the full article, please visit

Related Article

October 11, 2018 |
Many Republicans celebrated Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing-in Monday as the end of a bitter confirmation battle. But the game isn’t over.  ...
October 04, 2018 |
Following last week’s extraordinary testimony by Prof. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, public attitudes are split and malleable.   ...
September 27, 2018 |
Thursday will be an immensely consequential day for America. As of this writing, Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to appear in the morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  ...
September 20, 2018 |
The Democrats’ most potent national policy issue in the 2018 midterms is health care, and it’s showing up on TV. One Arizona ad says Martha McSally, the Republican congresswoman running for Senate, “voted to gut protections for people with pre-existing co...
Button karlsbooks
Button readinglist
Button nextapperance