The PJ Tatler

Is Iowa Now Shifting to...Ron Paul?

Two new polls out today show Newt Gingrich collapsing in Iowa, to the benefit of Ron Paul. PPP and the New York Times both show Paul now in the lead; PPP by three points over Romney, the NYT also by three points over Romney. But Gallup still shows Gingrich with the lead at 28 to 24 over Romney, with Paul at 10%.

But that’s two out of three major polls showing Iowans flocking toward the only man who can save America, even after his daffy positions on Iran were exposed in the last debate. What’s going on here?

It’s worth noting here that PPP is the same outfit that polled Obama ahead of Rick Perry in Texas a few months back. I keep bringing that up because PPP keeps pushing out odd results. There is no way Obama ever held any advantage over the sitting governor of Texas this year. That’s worth keeping in mind any time PPP rolls out a poll that seems questionable, like this one. Neil Stevens compares Iowa polls in 2008 to what PPP is saying now, and finds some reasons to think this poll may be disconnected from reality.

The NYT poll, by the way, reacts to the PPP poll.

Our Iowa forecasts, which are designed to be quite aggressive, have had a big reaction to the new Public Policy Polling survey published late Sunday evening. The poll showed Newt Gingrich’s support slipping badly in Iowa and Ron Paul moving into the lead.

The poll has Mr. Gingrich with 14 percent of the vote, down from 22 percent in the same poll one week earlier and continuing a streak of declining numbers for Mr. Gingrich in state and national surveys. Mitt Romney’s support improved to 20 percent from 16 percent in the previous Public Policy Polling survey. But it was Mr. Paul, at 23 percent in the poll, who held the lead. Mr. Paul thus becomes the sixth candidate to have led an Iowa caucus poll at some point this cycle, joining Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

Mr. Paul also leads our forecast. The model gives him a 44 percent chance of winning Iowa based on the current standing of the candidates and the historic uncertainty of polling-based forecasts. Mr. Romney has a 32 percent chance of winning, while Mr. Gingrich’s chances have crashed to 15 percent.

It’s possible that one outlier poll has influenced another, whether by design or not is up for grabs — both PPP and the NYT lean left, obviously. Other polls aren’t showing a similar Paul lead. If Gallup or Rasmussen show a shift to Paul then there may be something to it. But I’m not hanging my hat on what PPP says at the moment.

I’ll hang my hat on what Ron Paul says when he is asked why he doesn’t come out and say what he really thinks about 9-11.

K: Okay and one last thing why won’t you come out about the truth about 9/11?

Paul: Because I can’t handle the controversy, I have the IMF the Federal Reserve to deal with, the IRS to deal with because no because I just have more-too many things on my plate. Because I just have too much to do.

More: Also read Roger’s take on how Paul’s possible rise may be good news for Mitt Romney.