Perry Widens Lead, Bachmann Plummets, In New Republican Poll
Rick Perry's month in the GOP race for the White House has sent Michele Bachmann's poll numbers into the basement.
The new CNN/ORC poll continues to show Rick Perry maintaining a strong lead over his Republican rivals, but the biggest news may be what could be the end of Michele Bachmann’s time in the spotlight:
Hours before the start of the first-ever CNN/Tea Party Republican debate, a new national survey indicates that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is maintaining his lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
And according to a CNN/ORC International Poll, what appears to be Perry’s greatest strength – the perception among Republicans that he is the candidate with the best chance to beat President Barack Obama in 2012 – seems to be exactly what the GOP rank and file are looking for.
The survey, released Monday morning, indicates that 30 percent of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP support Perry for their party’s nomination, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 18 percent. Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House, had been leading the list of Republican candidates in the national polls, but since Perry launched his campaign a month ago he’s jumped ahead of Romney to capture the top spot.
According to the survey, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is at 15 percent. The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee has flirted with a presidential bid, but hasn’t taken any concrete steps to launch a campaign.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who’s making his third run for the White House, is at 12 percent. Every other candidate is in single digits.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was at 10 percent in the last CNN poll, now stands at four percent.
With Palin out of the running, the headline stays the same: Perry 32 percent, Romney 21 percent, Paul 13 percent and all other candidates, including Bachmann, in single digits.
“Perry doesn’t simply have the most support in a hypothetical ballot – he also tops the list of GOP candidates on every personal quality tested,” adds Holland.
Thirty-six percent, for example, see him as the strongest leader in the field, with Romney second at 21 percent. According to the poll, 35 percent say Perry is the Republican candidate most likely to get the economy moving again, with Romney in second at 26 percent.
ProfileNearly three in ten say that Perry is the candidate who is most likely to fight for his beliefs, with Palin in second place at 23 percent and, significantly, Romney in a distant tie for fourth at just 11 percent.
Check out the poll internals (PDF)
As Steven Taylor points out, the biggest factor in Perry’s favor at the moment appears to be the perception among Republicans that he is the candidate best able to beat President Obama. Only Mitt Romney comes close to Perry in that area. With the debate coming up tonight though, and yesterday’s reports that Michele Bachmann is preparing to hit Perry on Social Security tonight, the biggest news may be the decline of Michele Bachmman. She now trails Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich in the polls, and is falling into Huntsman/Santorum status. The main reason for that appears to be Bachmann’s total collapse in support from people who identify themselves as Tea Party Supporters. Among that group, Perry gets 40% support, Mitt Romney gets 19%, Ron Paul gets 10%, and Bachmann comes in fourth at 8%. Without that key group behind her, Bachmann’s campaign is essentially over.
Michele Bachmann was never going to win the Republican nomination, of course. As long as she was the Tea Party darling in the race, though, she was able to make herself a top tier candidate right along side Mitt Romney. Had it stayed that way and Perry not entered the race, then Romney would likely have benefited greatly from the contrast between him and Bachmann. With Perry in the race, though, there’s no reason for anyone other than the most adamant, politically naive, Tea Party supporter to back her over Bachmann, or anyone else in the race for that matter.
We’re likely to see some fireworks tonight, and Rick Perry has yet to be fully vetted, but this has essentially narrowed down to a Romney v. Perry race and there doesn’t seem to be any real prospect of that changing
Photo via Politico