(CNSNews.com) - When Republicans and Independents who are planning to attend next month’s Iowa Republican caucuses were asked who they believe is the “most principled” candidate in the Republican field, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas ranked first with 24 percent, according to a Des Moines Register poll released Sunday.
Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota was second with 17 percent, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ranked third with 14 percent.
The Des Moines Register poll, conducted Nov. 27-30, asked 401 likely Republican caucusgoers: “Regardless of which candidate you support as your first choice, which one would you say is most principled?”
The full results for the question were as follows:
Ron Paul 24 percent
Michele Bachmann 17 percent
Mitt Romney 14 percent
Rick Santorum 11 percent
Newt Gingrich 11 percent
None/Not sure 10 percent
Rick Perry 7 percent
Herman Cain 4 percent
Jon Huntsman` 2 percent
When the likely Republican caucus goers were asked who would be their first choice for president, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia was first with 25 percent, followed by Paul with 18 percent and Romney with 16 percent.
The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.