Another Poll Puts Perry At The Top In National Polling

With just a few days left until the first of five debates over the next six weeks, another poll is showing Rick Perry as the new frontrunner in the Republican Presidential race,  but there are signs that his lead isn’t solid:

Even as Texas Gov. Rick Perry moves into the lead as Republican voters’ preferred presidential candidate, a Fox News poll released Thursday shows that voters are more likely to view him as “too extreme” than former frontrunner Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. In addition, most American voters — including a majority of Republicans — think former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palinshould stay out of the presidential race.

Perry receives the support of 26 percent of GOP primary voters in the new poll. That’s up from 13 percent in early August and enough to edge out Romney as frontrunner. Currently Romney captures 18 percent, down from 21 percent (August 7-9).

No other candidate garnersdouble-digit support.

Palin receives 8 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul comes in at 7 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann captures the backing of 4 percent, down from a high of 11 percent in late June. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and businessman Herman Cain also garner 4 percent each. Another 4 percent support former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, even though he has said he is not running and his name wasn’t included in the question. Giuliani and Palin are unannounced.

When voters are asked to pick just among the announced candidates, Perry’s receives the support of 29 percent of GOPprimary voters, followed by Romney at 22 percent, and Bachmann and Paul both at 8 percent.
At the same time that this fifth poll confirms Perry’s rise to the top, though, there are signs that he could be vulnerable in a General Election to the charge that he his “too extreme:”

The poll asked voters to name any Republican contenders they felt were “too extreme to be seriously considered.” Among all voters, Bachmann tops the list at 18 percent, followed by Perry at 14 percent, Palin at 12 percent and Paul at 10 percent. Four percent think Romney is too extreme. Responses were volunteered by respondents; a list was not read. About a third of voters (35 percent) said none were too extreme and 22 percent were unsure.

Among Republicans, Paul is seen as too extreme by 14 percent, Bachmann by 11 percent, Palin by 9 percent and Newt Gingrich by 6 percent. Five percent of Republicans think Perry is too extreme and 3 percent say the same about Romney. Some 38 percent of Republicans say none of their party’s announced or potential candidates is too extreme, and another 26 percent have no opinion.

If Perry is the nominee, there’s no doubt that his past statements, most especially the contents of his 2010 book, are going to be a big part of the campaign against him. Republicans may want to think twice about whether or not he’s the best face to put forward to represent the party.
FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook