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Poll: Pawlenty, Bachmann in low single digits in Iowa

Both presidential aspirants have relatively low name identification — but those who know them largely love them.

Update: Missed this in the polling memo first time around, but Bachmann’s name was only included as an option for about half of the respondents. The story has been updated to reflect that. -DW

WASHINGTON — Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann poll in the low single digits in a very early poll of very likely Iowa Republican Caucus voters out today. But the polling firm that conducted the survey sees very positive upsides for both, as those voters who know them well view them very favorably.

Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, leads with 24 percent in a Neighborhood Research Corporation poll of 556 “very likely or definite” caucusgoers who also voted in their state’s 2010 primaries. Mitt Romney is second at 19 percent, followed by Sarah Palin at 11 percent and Newt Gingrich on 8 percent.

Pawlenty is fifth, with four percent, while Bachmann comes sixth with two percent, though her name was only included as an option for the last 245 respondents in the survey. NRC pollster Rick Shaftan said Bachmann’s two percent was her total just with those surveyed who had her as an option.

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However, neither Pawlenty nor Bachmann are exceptionally well known, and even fewer know them well enough to have an opinion. A giant upside for both of them — they have sky-high favorability ratings among those who know them well enough to rate them. Bachamnn’s favorable/unfavorables are 24-2, Pawlenty’s are 16-2.

An NRC analysis memo obtained by POLITICO had good news for both of Minnesota’s potential presidential contenders.

On Pawlenty:

Gingrich and [Texas Rep. Ron] Paul have good favorables, but both have a fatigue level that’s stopping them from converting those favorables into votes. On this measure, both men run behind Pawlenty and [Indiana Rep. Mike] Pence, who have made a positive first impression on the state. With Pence heavily rumored to be considering a run for Indiana Governor, Pawlenty is the man to watch here and could be a sleeper.

And on Bachmann, whom the pollster called a “wildcard”:

Bachmann could be dangerous if she is serious about the campaign and is taken seriously as a candidate (her support seemed to come from Huckabee in particular and also Palin, but these are small numbers and it’s difficult to draw a conclusion).

The whole thing can be read here.