“Scott Walker is the runaway front-runner in Iowa,” said one Iowa Republican. “The only news at this point would be if he didn’t win the state.”
Caucus insiders pointed to the Wisconsin governor’s success in taking on unions and winning a recall election and then re-election in 2014, and lauded his appeal to middle class voters. But they also pointed to the two-term governor’s vulnerabilities: 87 percent of Granite State Republicans say he couldn’t win New Hampshire right now, which echoes national polling showing Walker running strong in Iowa, a neighboring Midwestern state, but falling to the middle of the pack in New Hampshire.
“Granite Staters don’t vote for phantom candidates and Walker is barely an apparition on the ground in New Hampshire,” one GOP insider from that state said, referring to Walker’s low visibility in the first-in-the-nation primary state. Walker has made fewer trips to New Hampshire than almost any other Republican candidate in the field.