The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Iowa’s Likely Caucus Participants shows that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann attracts 22% support, while former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney earn 21%. Just slightly behind is Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 16%, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry at 12% and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at 11%.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich picks up five percent (5%) of the vote, businessman Herman Cain wins four percent (4%), and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is at two percent (2%). Seven percent (7%) would prefer some other candidate.
Fox News and the Washington Examiner will sponsor a GOP debate this Thursday night. On Saturday, the Iowa State Fair straw poll will be held. While that straw poll is not terribly predictive, it does offer lesser known candidates an opportunity to gain some traction. Four years ago, Mike Huckabee’s performance in the straw poll gave him the chance to become a top-tier candidate.