Diagnosing Scott Walker's Freefall In Iowa

No Republican running for president may have suffered more from the rise of the "outsider" candidates than Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Once considered among the party's top tier and its front-runner in Iowa, his poll numbers have begun to collapse. Walker, who holds the No. 6 spot in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings, has a record as a conservative governor of a blue state appealed to dueling factions of the GOP: conservatives and the moderate-minded establishment. But the rise of Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina has neatly coincided with the governor's slide in the polls.

Walker's campaign placed a big bet on Iowa, and his downward spiral in the state could spell disaster for his campaign. Walker fell to tenth place in a Qunnipiac University survey of Iowan voters released on Friday. He led the field in Quinnipiac's July poll, but has since dropped 15 percentage points while Donald Trump and Ben Carson have skyrocketed into the first two slots.

Some analysts think the Walker campaign has found itself behind on the scoreboard because of how other candidates have dominated the airwaves.

During his 2007 presidential campaign, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani failed to recover from his decision to bypass the early states in favor of a longer-term strategy. Ford O'Connell, a veteran of Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, said Walker's decline in the polls has begun to resemble Giuliani's precipitous drop eight years ago.

"What he's got going for him [that Giuliani did not] is he's a governor," O'Connell said, suggesting voters' may value Walker's record of accomplishment. "I have no idea [if he can comeback]. He's going to have to find a way to get into Trump's orbit."

Read more from Ryan Lovelace at The Washington Examiner

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Analysis & Political Strategy