New Iowa poll has Scott Walker up by seven points, with Marco Rubio tops as a second choice

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Scott Walker has a seven-point percentage lead in Iowa, according to a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll released Saturday night.

The Wisconsin governor leads the GOP field with 17 percent. Ben Carson and Rand Paul are tied for second with 10 percent, and Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee are tied for fourth place with 9 percent. That’s a better placement for Bush in the Hawkeye state than other recent polls, one of which had him seventh in Iowa.

Although Marco Rubio comes in next with just six percent of the vote (tied with Rick Santorum), there are indications that he is on the ascent in Iowa, where he has only visited twice this year. Rubio tops the list of contenders whom likely caucusgoers say is their second choice. Beyond that, 49 percent say they’re willing to consider him. Rubio also ranks third highest in favorability — 60 percent view him positively, and just 17 percent unfavorably.

Next up is Ted Cruz is next at 5 percent, followed by Donald Trump and Chris Christie at 4 percent.

Jeb Bush ranks first with no demographic group, but he comes in second after Walker with GOP likely caucusgoers in four categories: those who are age 65 and over, college graduates, Catholics and those who describe themselves as “conservative,” as opposed to “very conservative.”

Bush is viewed unfavorably by more likely caucusgoers (45 percent) than anyone else except for Donald Trump (63 percent) and Chris Christie (58 percent).

The Iowa Poll of 402 likely Republican caucusgoers was conducted May 25-29 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.