The Big Story Blog

Iowa: Santorum strongest with middle income voters

Posted at 9:09 PM on January 3, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Iowa, Politics

Trolling through some of the CNN polling of people going in and out of the Iowa caucuses tonight and I'm surprised by the strength of candidate Rick Santorum among middle income people.

Santorum had the support of more than half those with incomes between $30,000 and $100,000. (Click on the chart for a larger view).

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Ron Paul is close behind in middle class support. Mitt Romney, though, is significantly behind both those candidates.

The question: Will Santorum's apparently strong middle class support extend to people of similar incomes in New Hampshire and beyond?

Here's a look at some demographics from the Associated Press:

As the caucuses began, an entrance survey of early arrivers suggested that Romney, Paul and Santorum were in the top tier of vote getters.

About a third of early arrivers said they most wanted a candidate who could defeat Obama, and they tended to favor Romney. Paul held a broad advantage among the nearly one in four who called the selection of a true conservative their top priority, and he also made a strong showing among younger and first-time caucus-goers.

Supporters of the tea party made up about two-thirds of the electorate, and were nearly evenly split among Paul, Romney and Santorum.

The economy and the federal budget deficit were top issues for caucus attendees, more important than abortion or health care.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.