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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:09 pm 
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Where the Polls Were: 2008 & 2012

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee overcame a nearly 10-point deficit with 46 days to go to win the Iowa Republican Caucus in 2008. Could he pull off another 20-point turnaround in 2016? Recent history suggests it's certainly possible.

With a little more than a month and a half to go before the first-in-the-nation Iowa Republican Caucus, polling may indicate the outcome has been well decided. But history tells a completely different story.

The current Real Clear Politics polling averages in Iowa give U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) a 1-point margin over national front-runner Donald Trump, 26.4-25.4. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also holds a 1-point margin, 12.9-11.9, over Dr. Ben Carson, who has seen his numbers in the Hawkeye State drop off sharply in the past two weeks.

According to the RCP averages, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has fallen to 5.6 percent, and no other candidate is scoring above 3.5 percent. But don't be so quick to toss those candidates aside: In 2008 and 2012, the eventual winner of the Iowa Republican Caucus overcame huge polling deficits.

On Nov. 16, 2007, exactly 48 days before the Jan. 3, 2008, Iowa Republican Caucus, the RCP polling averages showed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with a nearly 10-point lead, 28.3-18.8, over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. On Caucus Night, however, Huckabee secured a 9-point victory over Romney.

Polling in mid-November 2011 proved even more futile. The larger pool of candidates, and some controversies in the background, led to an unsettled field all the way up to Caucus Night in Iowa.


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He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. -Jim Elliot

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