Poll: GOP caucusgoers split support four ways

A new poll from Bloomberg News shows likely Republican Iowa caucusgoers split four ways between Herman Cain, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).

But perhaps the most interesting finding of the poll, conducted Nov. 10 to 12, is that 60 percent of respondents said they “could be persuaded” to support another candidate. And with seven weeks before the nation’s first presidential nominating contest, another 10 percent said they have “no first choice candidate.”

Just 29 percent said their “mind is made up” on who they’ll vote for to be the Republican nominee to take on President Obama.

Romney, the perceived national frontrunner, and others may also note just 14 percent of those polled voted for him in the 2008 caucuses, while 58 percent either voted for someone else or didn’t participate. Another 9 percent voted for Paul in 2008, further suggesting the race is wide open.

And Gingrich, who’s enjoying a surge in polling in Iowa and nationwide, may take some pause from the results as well. The poll found 48 percent of voters would rule out voting for a candidate that’s been married three times and had extramarital affairs.

But those polled also said social issues aren’t the most important factor: 24 percent said they are, compared to 71 percent who said fiscal issues are the most critical.

Those findings line up with the poor support measured for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who have focused much of their message on social issues. Bachmann has 7 percent support in the poll, and Santorum has 6 percent.

The poll, conducted Nov. 10 to 12 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, includes 2,677 interviews with Iowa voters, 503 of which said they were likely to participate in the Jan. 3 caucuses. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Download full poll results here.