The Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” released this weekend shows a new candidate has emerged as a leading challenger to Mitt Romney in Iowa. Former Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain had 23 percent support in the poll. Romney had 22 percent. Ron Paul was in third place, with 12 percent.
Paul campaigned in Iowa on Saturday, speaking to the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.
“We need to wake up and, in many ways as a country — not so much those of you in this audience,” Paul said, with a laugh, “but this country needs to wake up and quit lying to itself whether it’s on the economics or the foreign policy.”
Paul, who described the NFRA as the “constitutional wing” of the Republican Party, won the group’s straw poll. Michele Bachmann was in fourth place in The Register’s latest Iowa Poll, a fall from the paper’s June polling which found her in a dead heat with Romney. Bachmann made a campaign swing through eastern Iowa this past weekend, making a “dire” prediction for the country if Barack Obama is elected to a second term.
“This election is it.” Bachmann said in Oskaloosa Saturday. “I think this is it for the country. We have to get a grip.”
Rick Santorum garnered just five percent support in the Iowa Poll, but he continues to criss-cross the state in hopes of convincing Iowans to back him in the Caucuses.
“It’s not surprising that you’ll find me here. I’ve spent a lot of time in Iowa. By the end of this week, I will have hit all the counties in Iowa. That’s 99, by the way,” Santorum told an audience in Des Moines on Saturday.
Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race with great fanfare, but after stumbling in televised debates, Perry secured just seven percent support in the newspaper’s survey. His wife, Anita, campaigned in Iowa over the weekend. She suggested the debates are doing the candidates a disservice.
“You know, it gives an opportunity for infighting within the party,” Anita Perry said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “It doesn’t look good for the party.”
On Tuesday, five candidates Perry, Paul, Bachmann, Santorum and Newt Gingrich — will appear at a forum in Pella. The event is hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers.