The Presidential Pensieve for August 24, 2015

Splash water dropThe Iowa State Fair has come and gone, and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s “straw poll” proved to be a very eye-opening piece of information we have now factored into our calculations. Based on Donald Trump’s appeal beyond the traditional Iowa Caucus voter base, we’re still projecting 135,000 turnout, if the Caucus were held tomorrow.

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12-tie. Rick Santorum (1,500 votes) — the only new development is that Rick’s support continues to fall among Iowans who just aren’t interested in talking about 2012 anymore.


12-tie. Chris Christie (1,500 votes) — he just can’t seem to get any traction to overcome some of his campaign’s earlier issues.


11. Rick Perry (2,500 votes) — nice fundraising news perhaps held off the inevitable for a few more weeks, but there’s little that can be done to save his campaign.


10. Rand Paul (3,500 votes) — not being in Iowa helped him avoid awkward questions about some of his staff’s past campaign indiscretions, but it also prevented him from being able to make a case for his campaign in front of a very large and receptive audience.


9. Mike Huckabee (4,000 votes) — he may be one of the benefactors of telephone polls that tend to favor name recognition.


8. Bobby Jindal (5,500 votes) — without a big-name conservative endorsement, there’s little more that can be done to help his campaign at this point.


6-tie. Jeb Bush (6,500 votes) — his numbers only look to head farther south as voters see his air of invincibility evaporate.


6-tie. Scott Walker (6,500 votes) — he’s perhaps the biggest benefactor of name-recognition polling this cycle, but the State Fair Straw Poll exposed those lies very boldly.


5. Marco Rubio (8,000 votes) — he’s hit his plateau until the inevitable Scott Walker/Jeb Bush/Chris Christie meltdown happens.


4. Carly Fiorina (10,500 votes) — Right now, a lot of Iowans are liking what they see from her, for now.


3. Ted Cruz (12,000 votes) — the full impact of his Steve Deace endorsement has yet to kick in; but it likely will over the next six months.


2. Ben Carson (27,500 votes) — he’s been the hardest nut to crack this electoral cycle, largely because his supporters match his demeanor: calm, cool, collected … and quiet. It’s hard to tell if they’re really there or not, and his campaign’s continued dysfunction is only making it more difficult to read. Comments over the weekend about abortion are going to hurt by this time next week, though.


1. Donald Trump (45,500 votes) — everywhere you go, they’re talking about him, which is what the polls reflect, but the State Fair Straw Poll results showed for the first time it’s not just made up.