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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 27, 2011
What’s Ahead Dec. 27: Emotional heartstrings, weather may determine Iowa caucus winner

Caucus emotions: It’s probably safe to say that Ron Paul relies less on emotional appeals than other Republican presidential hopefuls when he makes his pitch for support in the Iowa precinct caucuses.

Rep. Ron Paul

However, if emotions rule caucus night, the Texas congressman could come up a winner.

That’s one of the findings of a new APCO Insight poll using a polling model used by hundreds of brands to predict product purchase decisions based on the emotional connections consumers have with a brand.

Iowans have the strongest emotional connection with Paul. That comes from a strong sense of trust and belief voters have that he will deliver on his promises.

That dovetails with results of the Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG-TV9 poll earlier this month that found Paul’s support to be more solid than the backing other candidates are receiving.

Paul was on top of that poll with 27.5 percent to Newt Gingrich with 25.3 percent and 17.5 percent for Mitt Romney. However, the polling found that 51 percent of those naming the libertarian-leaning Texan as their first choice were “definitely” backing him.

Newt Gingrich

The percentage for the next two candidates was much weaker, at 16.1 percent for Romney and 15.2 for Gingrich.

Looking at the GOP more broadly, APCO Insight found Romney and Gingrich were tied with the strongest emotional connections. However, Gingrich — despite his second-place position in the ISU/Gazette/KCRG poll — did not have a strong emotional connection with Iowa Republicans. He was near the bottom of the field at 6th place.

In New Hampshire, Romney had the strongest emotional connection to likely GOP primary voters. Jon Huntsman came in third, perhaps his best showing in any poll.

Mitt Romney

Fair weather favors Romney: Fair weather and a big turnout on caucus night should add up to a Romney victory, according to Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 GOP caucuses. Bad weather and low turnout would be good news for Paul, he added.

Huckabee cited Paul backers’ “extraordinary devotion” and willingness to “walk over broken glass” for his prediction that neither snow, nor cold nor freezing rain will keep them from their appointed caucuses.

The Weather Channel’s 10-day forecast for Cedar Rapids suggests sunshine with a high temperature of 34 degrees and a low of 23.

On the calendar:

Dec. 27

Rick Perry, 10:45 a.m., Main Street Café, Council Bluffs; 1:15 p.m., Glenn Miller Museum, Clarinda; 3:30 p.m., Adams Street Espresso, Creston; 5 :30 p.m., Clarke County REC, Osceola

Mitt Romney, 5:30 p.m., Hotel Blackhawk, Davenport

Newt Gingrich, 1 p.m., Dubuque Golf & Country Club, 1800 Randall Pl., Dubuque; 4:30 p.m., National Farm Toy Museum, 1110 16th Ave. Ct. SE, Dyersville; 7 p.m., Mabe’s Pizza, 110 E. Water St., Decorah

Rick Santorum, 8 a.m., Fort Dodge GOP headquarters; noon, Park Inn Hotel, Mason City; 5 p.m., Scratch Bakery, Cedar Falls; 6 p.m., Waterloo Center for the Performing Arts

Michele Bachmann, 9:30 a.m., Scooter’s Coffeehouse, Council Bluffs; 10:25 a.m., MKing’s Crossing Café, Mondamin; 11:10 a.m.. Dairy Queen, Onawa; 12:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Harlan; 2:30 a.m., Oasis Steakhouse & Lounge, Glenwood; 3:45 p.m., Penn Drug, Sidney; 4:40 p.m., house party, Shenandoah; 5:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Red Oak; 7:10 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Atlantic; 8:30 p.m., Darrell’s Place, Hamlin

Dec. 28

Rick Perry, 7 a.m., Westside Conservative Club, Machine Shed Restaurant, Urbandale; 1:30 p.m., The Sports Page, Indianola; 3:30 p.m. Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Pella; 5 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Oskaloosa

Ron Paul, noon, Iowa Speedway Media Center, Newton; 3 p.m., employee meeting at GuideOne Insurance, West Des Moines; 7 p.m., salute to veterans, Knapp Learning Center, Iowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines

Dec. 29

Rick Perry, 10 a.m., Coffee Corner, Washington; 12:30 p.m., Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids; 5:30 p.m., Fisher Community Center Auditorium, Marshalltown

Ron Paul, noon, Hotel Pattee, Perry; 3 p.m., Cass County Community Center, Atlantic; 7 p.m., Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs

Dec. 30

Rick Perry, noon, Doughy Joey’s, 300 W. 4th St, Waterloo; 2:45 p.m., Fainting Goat, Waverly; 5:30 p.m., Cerro Gordo County GOP fundraiser, Mason City County Club

Newt Gingrich, 10 a.m., Moms Matter Coffee Break, Java Joe’s, Des Moines

Ron Paul, 1 p.m., Le Mars Convention Center; 3 p.m., Sioux Center Public Library’ 7 p.m., River Bend Convention Center/Stoney Creek Inn, Sioux Center

Dec. 31

Rick Perry, 10:30 a.m., Bloomers at Central Coffee Shop, Fort Dodge; 12:45 p.m., Dutch Oven Bakery, Boone

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