Walker Maintains Lead in Iowa, As Race Tightens

Quinnipiac’s latest Iowa poll released this week demonstrated a continued edge for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker among the more than one dozen official GOP candidates.

Walker commands a sizeable lead with 18% followed by a horde of second place contenders tied at roughly 10% including newly-announced Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

Two of the top leaders in the national polls, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, did not fair as well in which they garnered 7-8% for middle of the pack positions.

Moderate Republicans fare poorly — no surprise. Chris Christie, whose unfavorable rating in the state has been shown in recent months to be as high as 25%, pulled in dead last with a single point. Whether his official announcement yesterday will improve that standing in future polls remains to be seen.

Lindsay Graham also pulls in only one percentage point of support.

Bobby Jindal, who announced his run for president officially last week, polled at 3 percent. Like Christie’s, Jindal’s entry into the race could have implications for his numbers.

Perhaps most interesting is that Walker holds a solid (if diminishing) lead while still not having officially declared a run, reminiscent of Fred Thompson and Rick Perry, who entered past races relatively late as the clear front-runners.

The question for Walker is whether he can maintain a lead after jumping in — something Thompson and Perry were unable to do.