A Neighborhood Research poll of likely Iowa caucus voters released this week found Mike Huckabee once again leading the pack, while Donald Trump placed a surprising third place, ahead of big-name GOPers including Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.
That affirms previous polls that have shown Huckabee comfortably leading all comers in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first — and therefore highly important — primary nominating contest. And it seems to show that Trump, the eccentric business tycoon who has recently made some noise about a possible presidential bid, may be a viable candidate after all.In the poll, 21% of respondents said Huckabee was their top choice for the GOP nod, while 13.5% backed Romney. Trump placed third at 8.8%, ahead of Gingrich (7.8%), Palin (6.6%), Michele Bachmann (5.3%), Tim Pawlenty (4.4%) and Ron Paul (3.4%).
Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses, has led virtually every 2012 poll of the state. A PPP poll in January showed him running at 30%, 12 points ahead of second place finisher Romney.
The poll is the second one this week to show Trump running strong in an early primary contest. Yesterday, a PPP poll showed Trump placing second in the New Hampshire primary, just six points behind Romney.
The Neighborhood Research poll was conducted March 29 through April 4 among 319 Republican voters in Iowa. It has a margin of error of 5.5%.