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Mitt Romney Back At The Top In New National Poll

Rick Perry is paying a price for three bad debate performances in a row and the controversy he generated on the right over his positions on immigration and the HPV vaccine:

Three September debates have shaken-up the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Herman Cain has jumped into the top tier. Rick Perry’s stumbled. Mitt Romney’s holding steady.

And Michele Bachmann is hitting bottom. That’s according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.

The new poll found Cain’s support has nearly tripled among GOP primary voters to 17 percent.

That’s up from 6 percent before this month’s debates, and puts him in what is essentially a three-way tie with Perry and Romney.

Perry now garners 19 percent, a drop of 10 percentage points from a month ago. That puts Romney back in the top spot with the support of 23 percent. Last month Romney was at 22 percent.

Newt Gingrich recovered some ground and now stands at 11 percent. Ron Paul receives the backing of 6 percent now compared to 8 percent before the September debates.

Bachmann registers 3 percent support, down from 8 percent in late August and a high of 15 percent in July.

It’s been a good day for Romney. First he’s up in state polls in Iowa and Florida, and now he’s back at the top of the GOP field thanks mostly to the fact that Rick Perry has spent the past month shooting himself in the foot. The Herman Cain rise is interesting, although likely largely attributable to the press he’s gotten from the debates and the straw poll victory. Most likely, many people who had been leaning to Perry are backing Cain now rather than Romney. In addition to Perry, the biggest loser here is Michele Bachmann who is near the bottom of the poll with the likes of Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. She still seems to be holding on to a contenders spot in Iowa, but she’s fading nationally.

At the very least this should be raising some alarm bells over at the Perry campaign, especially if it’s replicated in their internal polling and the other national polls that are likely to come out over the next week or so. Perry has already said today that he regrets calling the opponents of his in-state tuition program heartless, which is a necessary first step but only a first step. Perry has to re-tool his campaign away from constantly attacking Romney and start emphasizing his own plans, which are surprisingly sparse at the moment. Otherwise, he’s likely to continue treading water while Mitt Romney continues on course to what might start looking like an inevitable victory.

This is still a Romney/Perry race, but if Perry continues fumbling it could be over before it begins.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. NBH says:

    In addition to Romney, the biggest loser here is Michele Bachmann

    Shouldn’t that be “In addition to Perry”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Yea, let me fix that

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    Cain has jumped up big:)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. michael reynolds says:

    It’s so perfect that Perry is in trouble for his two lonely displays of decency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    The operatives don’t like Romney but they know they have him and a clown show.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  6. PD Shaw says:

    the controversy he generated on the right over his positions on immigration and the HPV vaccine

    Is it his position or his articulation of his position? This morning his handlers had “no” regrets on Perry’s lambasting his critics of subsidized college education for the children of illegal immigrants as “heartless.” This afternoon he is apologizing.

    His HPV vaccine executive order posed problems on the virginal evangelical right, the anti-crony-capitalist tea-party faction, and libertarians who don’t like the government ordering a brand new vaccine that the medical associations didn’t feel was ready to be mandatory.

    And Doug omits his attack on Social Security as unconstitutional.

    It’s one thing to be a reporter or blogger (or worse a commentor) spouting how this or that should be in a world without history or the need to build majority coalitions; its another thing to run for President. I cannot see how Perry wins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Wayne says:

    Big question is once the field starts to narrow, where do supporters of those who drop out go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. NBH says:

    I’m not surprised that Romney didn’t gain a larger percentage from Perry’s drop, but I am surprised at Cain’s gain. I’d assumed Bachmann would regain some of her support, not continue falling! I guess I need to look at Cain’s debate performance more closely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Mad Max says:

    Memo to America: Stop waiting for Democrats and Republicans to save you. It’s bad
    for your health and your future. Can’t you tell?

    “WAKE UP PEOPLE!”
    Read “Common Sense 3.1”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. A voice from another precinct says:

    “Perry has to re-tool his campaign away from constantly attacking Romney and start emphasizing his own plans, which are surprisingly sparse at the moment.”

    It WOULD be nice if any of these doofuses had plans. But the GOP currently seems to believe that all they need to do is run against Obama. Unfortunately, that may work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Jay Dubbs says:

    Does he really want to be ahead in September? Granted he is the only one I can see actually winning a national election, but being ahead in the fall doesn’t seem to be a position you want to be in historically.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. NickNot says:

    @A voice from another precinct:

    It WOULD be nice if any of these doofuses had plans. But the GOP currently seems to believe that all they need to do is run against Obama. Unfortunately, that may work.

    I won’t argue the “doofus” part (except Johnson and Paul), but I do have to take a minute to reply to the plans part. Heck, everyone knows the phrase “9-9-9″ now. Huntsman did a decent job with a tax plan (Ryan), Romney has 59 points to his, Johnson is fairtax and cut 43% (balance), and Ron Paul’s plan has been the same for 20 years or more. The fact that Perry has very little actually put together doesn’t mean the rest don’t. Quite frankly, I think the President might actually be a bit lacking in preparation too…. with the recent jobs bill intentional fail, it’s starting to sound like the slogan may be: “Hope and Change 2 – Four More Stimulus Bills coming your way”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. David Garrisonia says:

    Mr Romney is far and away the strongest candidate for president of the United States. His
    experience, vision and ability offer the USA leadership we have been missing for a number of
    years. He has all the qualities to bring us back to greatness and the heart to deliver on his
    vision!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  14. Trumwill says:

    David, if you’re going to cut and paste, watch the word-wrap, dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  15. MM says:

    I hope David got paid for that

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. ponce says:

    He has all the qualities to bring us back to greatness and the heart to deliver on his
    vision!

    Romney getting a military deferment to go on a three year Mormon mission to France during the height of the Vietnam War was great for him, but we just had a wealthy draft dodger run America for 8 years.

    He did not bring us back to greatness…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  17. anjin-san says:

    Just a few shorts weeks in and the pizza guy is running Perry down from behind. Wow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. NickNot says:

    @anjin-san:

    Just a few shorts weeks in and the pizza guy is running Perry down from behind. Wow.

    Maybe he was trying to beat the 30 minute time to avoid having to give the pizza away?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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