Romney, Bachmann Lead GOP Field, Obama Leads All GOP Candidates

For the moment, the GOP race looks like a race between Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, which should make Romney happy

A new Quinnipiac poll of national Republicans shows Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann essentially pulling away from the rest of the pack, even when heavy hitters like Rick Perry and Sarah Palin are included in the mix:

Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a relative newcomer in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is surging and now trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 25 – 14 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has 12 percent, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 10 percent. No other contender is over 6 percent. Ro

This compares to a June 8 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing Romney with 25 percent, Palin with 15 percent and Bachmann with 6 percent, sixth in a field of 10 candidates in the survey.

(…)

Rounding out the possible Republican presidential field are entrepreneur Herman Cain at 6 percent, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul at 5 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 5 percent, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 3 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan each at 1 percent or less.

If Perry does not run, Romney would lead with 28 percent, followed by Bachmann with 16 percent and Palin with 13 percent.

If Perry were to run, but not Palin, Romney would lead Bachmann 28 – 17 percent with Perry remaining at 10 percent.

“This would indicate that Romney and Bachmann would benefit most if Perry or Palin do not run,” said Brown.

At the moment, then, what we seem to have in the GOP race is a two-person race between Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. You probably couldn’t pick two other candidates who more perfectly represent the Establishment and the Tea Party. If this really does come down to a race between the two of them then what we’re looking at in 2012 is a battle between these two factions of the GOP, and the question facing primary voters will be whether they want to be ideologically pure, or whether they want to nominate a stil fairly conservative, though imperfect, candidate who actually has a chance of beating President Obama.

It’s on that point, electability, that Romney clearly leaves Bachmann in the dust:

President Barack Obama tops all leading GOP White House hopefuls, hitting the all- important 50-percent mark against every candidate but Romney:

  • 47 – 41 percent over Romney, unchanged from June 8;
  • 50 – 38 percent over Bachmann, who was not matched against Obama June 8;
  • 53 – 34 percent over Sarah Palin, compared to 53 – 36 percent June 8;
  • 50 – 37 percent over Perry, who was not matched against Obama June 8.

Obama’s margin over the Republican hopefuls stems from his huge margins among women voters that swamp the GOP candidates’ small edge with men. For instance, matched against Romney, the president carries women 50 – 39 percent, but loses men by only 45 – 44 percent.

Against Bachmann, Obama leads 52 – 35 percent among women and 48 – 40 percent among men

Romney is also the only Republican candidate to lead Obama among independent voters, albeit by a small margin of two points. Nonetheless, Obama leads all the other GOP candidates among independents, although, interestingly, Bachmann is only 3 points behind among that voting cohort.

This is all very good news for Romney, it seems to me. Despite the problems that the base has with him, he remains the only candidate who comes close to being able to beat Barack Obama in November 2012. The only other prospective candidate who came close in that regard was Mike Huckabee, but he’s not running. In the end, Romney is likely to benefit from the fact that most Republicans are going to want to defeat Barack Obama more than they want to score some obscure ideological point.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. I don’t think Mister Minnesota Nice Tim Pawlenty will be very happy with this news. If Romney is the clear winner here, which of the other candidates do you think is losing the most with this news? Just asking

  2. michael reynolds says:

    In the end, Romney is likely to benefit from the fact that most Republicans are going to want to defeat Barack Obama more than they want to score some obscure ideological point.

    Unless they are convinced that scoring ideological points is the best way to defeat OBama, a position quite a number appear to hold.

    Wow. Unemployment at 9.2 and Obama’s still leading. Imagine if the jobs situation was actually improving.

  3. Wayne says:

    One should remember the last election.

    Many relatively unknown Tea Party candidates that had absolutely no chance of winning the primary never mind the general election, ended up not only pulling an upset in the primary but went on to win in the general election. Granted some didn’t but many did. Make all the excuses you want but it doesn’t change the fact that many of you were wrong.

  4. Davebo says:

    One should remember the last election.

    Winning a relatively small congressional district is very different from winning a national election.

  5. hey norm says:

    Borrowing from another post….Obama raised $86M this quarter, with over 250,000 brand new donors, and 98% of the donations were under $250. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that signals a problem with the Grassroots. So the only question is if Independents will vote for crazy people like Bachmann or Romney. Or maybe Perry will jump in. Or…ooooh…Palin.

  6. Tano says:

    In the end, Romney is likely to benefit from the fact that most Republicans are going to want to defeat Barack Obama more than they want to score some obscure ideological point.

    Romney may do best against Obama, but he still loses – by at least the same margin that McCain lost by.

    Maybe Republicans will understand this, and figure that if they are going to lose, might as well go down with their banner held high, laying the groundwork for the next conservative in 2016.

  7. mattb says:

    @Wayne:

    Many relatively unknown Tea Party candidates that had absolutely no chance of winning the primary never mind the general election, ended up not only pulling an upset in the primary but went on to win in the general election.

    Not to put too fine a point on what @Davebo said, the Team Party candidates primarily won — with the exception of Rand Paul and *perhaps* Marco Rubio (though in that case he was the establishment pick too) — only in the far smaller House districts.

    Angle, O’Donnell, Miller, Fiorina are all examples of the failure to run Tea Party Candidates at the statewide level. And, popular wisdoms is that at least in Angle and O’Donnell’s case, a moderate republican would have most likely taken those elections and with them the Senate.

    The house is going to stay firmly in the control of the Tea Party for the foreseeable future — but that’s only because they command a disproportionate amount of power on the local level.

  8. hey norm says:

    @ mattb…
    Tea Party crazy is great for winning elections…but we’re seeing that it is the worst possible scenario for actually governing.

  9. Lgbpop says:

    Consider the source. Quinnipiac polls are nowhere near as accurate as Zogby, Harris or Rasmussen polls. I hear – but think it’s only hearsay – that Bob Shrum is their data cruncher.

  10. Lgbpop says:

    @hey norm: @hey norm: How on earth can you judge something that hasn’t happened yet? The one thing we CAN judge is Obama’s presidency, which is a massive fail so far. I’m not all that impressed with the Republican followthrough on their campaign promises, either – I thought they were going to neutralize Obamacare. The Tea Party people have a handful of members in Congress, and certainly have never held the strings of power. For you to say their governance is poor when they’ve never governed is laughable.

  11. hey norm says:

    @ Lgbpop…
    Right this very minute they are demanding a Balanced Budget Amendment – an impossibility – or else they will crash the economy. Shorter version – give us the impossible or else. What more evidence do you seriously need of their inability to govern?
    As for Obama being a failure…you may not like his policies and reasonable people can disagree…but you cannot objectively look at his record and call it a failure. He halted the worst economic disaster since the Depression saving the auto industry in the process, passed Health Care reform which Presidents from both parties had failed at for 50 years, and made some risky decisions that ultimately led to the killing of OBL. Those three things alone would complete any Presidency.

  12. ponce says:

    In the end, Romney is likely to benefit from the fact that most Republicans are going to want to defeat Barack Obama more than they want to score some obscure ideological point.

    Oh, yes.

    Today’s Republican Party is known for its rationality.

  13. mantis says:

    How do you think Romney will do with Republican primary voters if it’s between him and Bachmann?

  14. Moosebreath says:

    “Maybe Republicans will understand this, and figure that if they are going to lose, might as well go down with their banner held high, laying the groundwork for the next conservative in 2016.”

    On the other hand, a Bachmann nomination will provide an excellent test of Bithead’s theory that the problem with nearly all (excluding Reagan and Goldwater) Republican nominees of the last 70 years is that they were not conservative enough, since the people are clearly straining to vote for true conservatives.

  15. Rob in CT says:

    Kudos to Romney, btw, for loudly refusing to sign that dumb anti-gay marriage pledge.

  16. David M says:

    I’m not sure who I expected the main GOP primary choices to come down to, but this isn’t it. I wonder how many GOP primary voters are really going to be excited about either of them?

  17. PJ says:

    @Moosebreath:

    On the other hand, a Bachmann nomination will provide an excellent test of Bithead’s theory that the problem with nearly all (excluding Reagan and Goldwater) Republican nominees of the last 70 years is that they were not conservative enough, since the people are clearly straining to vote for true conservatives.

    Agree. I wonder what they will do if Romney gets nominated and then loses against Obama. Are they going to rewrite the rules for their primaries to favor more conservative candidates or maybe they will just scrap the primaries and have the Republicans in Congress pick their nominee?

  18. Moosebreath says:

    PJ,

    “I wonder what they will do if Romney gets nominated and then loses against Obama.”

    I think double down on the crazy is a safe bet. It will be more “proof” to the Bitheads of the world that moderate Republicans can’t win (except for Bush (both of them), Nixon, Eisenhower, etc.)

  19. hey norm says:

    I’m lost – can someone explain the “Bithead” reference?

  20. WR says:

    @Moosebreath: Except that when she loses, the Bits of the world will say the problem was she wasn’t a real conservative.

  21. WR says:

    @hey norm: It’s the name Mr. Florack used to post under.

  22. Moosebreath says:

    WR,

    “Except that when she loses, the Bits of the world will say the problem was she wasn’t a real conservative. ”

    True dat. Also true if she wins but actually governs like someone who needs to compromise to accomplish anything.

  23. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares about the 2012 presidential election? Anyone who is honest should be willing to admit that President Obama is going to be re-elected in a rout. The only real question is whether the Democrats get control of the House back from the Republicans.

    A longer term question is whether 2012 will be the last time that the media treats the Republican primary as if it is relevant to politics or do the Republicans have to lose in a rout three time in a row for every one to admit that conservative politics is dead in the U.S.