IOWA -- He hasn't yet officially announced his candidacy for president in 2016 -- but Governor Scott Walker holds a seven-point advantage among voters in Iowa over the rest of the crowded Republican field in the scramble for the party's 2016 nomination for president, a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll finds. Walker's popularity in the Hawkeye State may be part of a one-of-a-kind presidential campaign.
Walker was welcomed in Delavan on Monday morning, June 1st for a Boys & Girls Club of Walworth County breakfast, but he wasn't talking about the state budget or his upcoming appearance in Arizona. He enjoyed breakfast and celebrated the success the Boys & Girls Club has had with young people in Delavan since it opened its doors in November 2013. He was also undoubtedly savoring the positive news out of Iowa this weekend.
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Walker captured 17% of the vote among likely GOP caucus-goers.
"Flabbergasted by how decisive it was," UW-Milwaukee Professor Mordecai Lee said. "Governor Walker in this poll has really broken out of the pack and it's unclear the one reason why."
Walker's one-point lead in the Des Moines Register's poll in January is now a seven-point lead.
"What some people thought was going to be a flash in the pan -- clearly he's not. He's a fabulous candidate whether one agrees with him or not. He's very sure-footed, he's very intuitive and he's very disciplined," Lee said.
As an example, following Monday morning's breakfast, Walker was asked whether he would sign on to a pledge to pull back on mandatory minimum sentences -- something other presidential candidates are currently supporting.
"Certainly something we will look at. I haven't signed onto anything like that because those are for candidates and I'm not a candidate for anything right now. Should I be a candidate, certainly I would look at that," Walker said.
"He's got all the advantages of being a non-candidate as well as the advantages that he will get when he becomes a declared candidate," Lee said.
Walker is headed to Arizona on Wednesday. There, he'll serve as the headline speaker at a luncheon in Phoenix.