In a new poll taken just after the Iowa Freedom Summit the previous weekend, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has surprised everyone with a surge to the front of the pack.
According to the Bloomberg/De Moines Register poll, Walker has jumped to 15% from a mere 4% in October. Following just behind him is Sen. Rand Paul with 14% and Mike Huckabee at 10%.
Among the other surprises in the poll is that Jeb Bush, who has been considered a frontrunner in the budding GOP fight, pulled only 8%. Likewise, NJ Gov. Chris Christie commands a paltry 4% who also is underwater with a 54% unfavorable rating among Republicans.
Here’s the kicker: the poll was taken before Mitt Romney’s bombshell announcement that he will not be seeking the Republican nomination for president. Since he was included in the poll, he captured 13%, still only third place.
What comes as even more of a surprise is that Romney’s absence from the race does not translate to a bump for Jeb Bush, contrary to what most analysts have predicted:
The poll asked respondents to name their second choice for president, and Romney’s numbers reallocate first to Walker, then to Paul, Huckabee and Ben Carson. Jeb Bush gets left in the dust. If the poll remains true, Bush has a tough road ahead in making the case for why he deserves votes in the state his brother won convincingly fifteen years ago.