Despite Debate Missteps, Rick Perry Continues To Lead In New CNN Poll

Questions that have arisen about Rick Perry’s campaign in the wake of a month of lackluster debate performances and and disappointing finish in Florida’s straw poll, but they don’t seem to be hurting Rick Perry’s status as a frontrunner if the latest CNN/ORC poll is any indication:

According to the survey, which was released Monday, 28 percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they support Perry as their party’s presidential nominee, with Romney at 21 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at ten percent, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who’s making his third bid for the White House, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, all at seven percent. The poll indicates that Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is at four percent, with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at three percent and former Utah Gov. and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at one percent.

Palin has flirted with a bid for the GOP nomination, but the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has not taken any concrete steps towards launching a campaign. Taking Palin out of the mix produces a similar result: 30 percent for Perry, 22 percent for Romney, 11 percent for Gingrich, and all other candidates in single digits.

The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, after last Thursday’s debate in Orlando, Florida. Pundits and analysts rate Perry’s performance in that debate, and in a debate one a week and a half earlier in Tampa, Florida, as uneven. Perry’s distant second showing at a much-watched straw poll of Florida GOP activists this past weekend may be a reflection of his debate performances, and his stance on illegal immigration and border security, which were spotlighted in both debates.

“Did Perry’s performance in the most recent debate affect the horse race? Maybe yes, but maybe no,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Perry’s support is down just two points, and Romney is up only one to three points – and since all those numbers are well within the sampling error, it doesn’t look like much has changed, possibly because average voters aren’t as plugged into the debates as political junkies are. If the debates have had an effect, it may be mostly in favor of Gingrich, whose support went from 5 percent in mid-September to 10 percent now.”

The bad news in this poll isn’t for Perry but for Bachmann, who has seen her support drop from double digits all the way down in to Santorum/Huntsman territory in just under two months. Winning the Ames Straw Poll looks like it’s going to be her peak in this race given the combined impact of Perry’s entry into the race that same day, and Bachmann’s own bizarre statements throughout the last three debates about vaccination and other issues. The Gingrich bump is interesting, and may be attributable to the fact that he’s been coming across as the old professorial Gingrich during these debates, which is something that worked well for him in the years after he left Congress.

As for Perry, it’s possible that there might be more of a drop for him in the future if his campaign continues to show the signs of disorganization that we’ve been seeing of late, but as I said yesterday, Perry remains very well-situated in this race despite his missteps. Anyone predicting an imminent Perry collapse is simply not paying attention to the realities of the GOP field.

That doesn’t mean Perry’s problems are behind him, of course, because there’s still the important question of electibility:

The survey indicates that Romney fares best against Obama. It’s basically all tied up with 49 percent for Obama and 48 percent for Romney in a hypothetical two-way match-up. According to the poll, Obama holds a five point margin over Perry, 51 percent to 46 percent.

In a hypothetical matchup between Paul and Obama, the president holds a four point margin, 51 percent to 47 percent. Obama handily beats Bachmann and Palin in two-way match-ups. But keep in mind, as always, that polls taken more than a year before the election have little or no predictive value.

Electability is likely to be the biggest issue that will dog Perry throughout this campaign, and at some point, Republicans are going to have to decide which is more important to them in 2012, a good chance at a win on Election Day, or ideological purity.

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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Sam says:

    IF only Obama’s “mis-steps” an gaffes were as widely reported…..

    Obama confuses Jews with janitors

    WH transcript is different than what he actually SAID! Imagine that!

    “If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.”

  2. Fiona says:

    @Sam:

    So did you pick up that little piece of nonsense off the Freeper network? Or perhaps a more credible source like newsmax?

    Perry’s still the best thing the base has got. Bachman and Paul both come off as increasingly looney-tunes as the race wears on; Newt is repugnant and pedantic; and the others can’t generate much enthusiasm outside a few hundred voters here and there.

    The whole electability thing seems kind of moot this far out. One has to assume that Perry is going to get more polished as the Republican debates wear on, and his advisers will find a way to address some of his liabilities. Much as I don’t like him, he nonetheless doesn’t come across as quite the shape shifter Romney does. He’ll also have the advantage GW Bush had–the tyranny of low expectations. If he shows any signs of improving his debate skills, the MSM will take it as a huge step forward and start awarding him major brownie points. I certainly think the guy has a chance to win come Nov. 2012, should he get the nomination. I learned my lesson in 2000–never right off a moron governor from Texas.

  3. Sam says:

    @Fiona:

    Fiona, IF the news YOU get educated by, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton, or you favorite website STORNFRONT, you would never see this story.

    But I will show you the far right website I DID read it on.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/09/obama-congressional-black-caucus-video-gaffe.html

    So much for your ASSumption which makes you a TOTAL ASS!

  4. Sam says:

    @Fiona:

    “never right off a moron governor from Texas. ”

    While your at getting educated by al Sharpton on MSDNC, you may want to also learn to ‘write’.

  5. legion says:

    The bad news in this poll isn’t for Perry but for Bachmann, who has seen her support drop from double digits all the way down in to Santorum/Huntsman territory in just under two months.

    I don’t see that at all. Bachmann’s support dropped specifically _because_ Perry entered the race – he has all her Christian fundamentalist talking points, but wrapped in a male set of chromosomes! Who cares if he’s about 40 IQ points dumber!
    My prediction: If Perry completely craters, look for Bachmann’s numbers to go back up…

  6. legion says:

    @Sam: So, it’s not being noticed by the media, but you found it in the LA Times. Does the noise from the spinning of the last two neurons in your head ever distract you? Considering how much you post here, I guess not…

  7. Sam says:

    @legion:

    Find a brick and shove it up up your ass to hit yourself in the head!

  8. Sam says:

    @legion:
    To be clear $%^&, I never posted what you say I did.
    Your straw man will fall upon its own weight just like your asinine comment has.
    Get a clue before you accuse.

    I typed “IF only Obama’s “mis-steps” an gaffes were as widely reported…..”

    How many other news outlets reported it or the many other Obama mis-steps an gaffes?

  9. Fiona says:

    @Sam:

    Find a brick and shove it up up your ass to hit yourself in the head!

    I think perhaps you should take a bit of your own advice. But given the quality of your comments, I suppose you already have and probably enjoy it. A lot.

    I listened to the video and it’s not at all clear that Obama meant to say “Jew” before he corrected himself. Of course, with your ability to read Obama’s mind, you no doubt knew what he meant to say.

    Moreover, while you might not have picked up this information on a far-right website, the writer, Andrew Malcolm, is virulently right-wing and has made a career of bashing Obama for anything and everything under the sun.

    For the record, I’ve never heard of Stromfront and don’t watch the Ed show.

  10. legion says:

    @Sam: Charming, Samuel, simply charming. I’m especially impressed at how you required a completely separate comment to violently insult me, beyond responding to my initial point… a response which contains, I see, 3 distinct insults all by itself – my, how prolific!

    And yet, none of your deranged banter seems to have the slightest relation to the actual topic of the post, which is about Perry getting a good response from a poll, despite numerous (conservative, I would point out) news and blog sources panning his debate performance. considering how exactly none of the polls discussed compare Perry’s favorability to Obama’s, I’m curious as to how you made the intellectual leap from that topic to the idea that a random stutter in a speech that was covered by the LA Times should have been front-page news on all the major services, despite the speech itself not being particularly big news.

    Your mental processes intrigue me…

  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    @legion:

    Samuel’s quite elegant and oft used response is not actually a pejorative statement. Samuel uses the brick request when he has absolutely no response to an argument. As all evidence points to Samuel being a few dozen IQ points lower than the average commentator here, he uses that statement quite often.

    I think of it as a badge of honor.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    While your at getting educated by al Sharpton on MSDNC, you may want to also learn to ‘write’.

    One really shouldn’t admonish someone else about proper writing if one can’t even properly write the sentence admonishing someone else.

  13. legion says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I’m more concerned with how I’m supposed to hit myself in the head with a brick, while simultaneously shoving it up my ass… Do I hit myself first and then shove? Or just keep shoving up through my whole torso until I strike cranium? Or break it in half and do both at the same time? The possibilities boggle the mind…

  14. legion says:

    @An Interested Party: I’m also fond of:

    I typed “IF only Obama’s “mis-steps” an gaffes were as widely reported…..”

    How many other news outlets reported it or the many other Obama mis-steps an gaffes?

    Starting sentences with double capital letters, and misspelling “and” twice in the same post… this guy’s got a career as an editor at the WaPo ahead of him, I’m sure.

  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    @legion

    The way the sentence is constructed, I believe one is supposed to shove said brick until the cranium is hit from below, simultaneously fulfilling both directives at once.

    Of course this involves some logistical problems, and would most likely involve some sort of brick-shoving partner.:

  16. Eric Florack says:

    @Sam: I

    F only Obama’s “mis-steps” an gaffes were as widely reported…..

    Obama confuses Jews with janitors

    WH transcript is different than what he actually SAID! Imagine that!

    “If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.”

    Quite so, Sam. You can tell Perry’s in front because of the way the press has been hammering him.

    As for the debate thing. Most of you know, that I spent a few years behind a mike. Some of the smartest people I ever knew tended to freeze up behind a live mike or in front of a camera. Some of the dumbest people I ever met were as smooth as glass in such situations. That’s not the rule, but I’m suggesting that the connection between debate performance and thought process, or for that matter, of a principled foundation, is less than direct. Perry needs to be judged on his principled conservatism, including his mis-steps in that regard, such as the Guardasil thing.

    Obama, for his part needs to be judged on the disaster he’s created. And so he will be.