Polls Have Rick Perry in Second in Republican 2012 Primary

Politics   Steven Ertelt   Jun 30, 2011   |   10:15AM    Washington, DC

The buzz about pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry potentially entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination has him shooting up to second place in a new Fox News poll of Republicans nationwide.

Perry, who has a long record of pushing pro-life legislation on abortion and recently spoke in favor of life at a pro-life event for Hispanics in Los Angeles, trails only Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor pulls in 18 percent to 13 percent for Perry in the Fox News poll.

Behind the two state executives, pro-life Rep. Michele Bachmann receives 11 percent of the Republican support and pro-abortion former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani takes in 10 percent, even though it appears unlikely he will run and even more unlikely that he would earn the nomination after failing to get more than one delegate in the 2008 contest.

Sarah Palin, the pro-life former vice presidential candidate took in 8 percent in the new nationwide survey, pro-life Rep. Ron Paul received 7 percent, pro-life businessman Herman Cain received 5 percent and three pro-life advocates tied with 3 percent apiece: former governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Jon Huntsman of Utah and former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Rick Santorum, the pro-life former Senator from Pennsylvania received 2 percent and pro-abortion former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson received just one percent.

Fox didn’t include Perry in its early June national poll and his inclusion saw Romney lose 5 percent of his support from earlier in the month and Palin drop 4 percent with the Texas governor included. Pawlenty, Gingrich and Santorum all lost support as well. With Palin out, Romney leads with 20 percent to 14 for Perry and 12 for Bachmann and Romney has 22 percent to 14 for Perry and 13 for Bachmann is Giuliani if not included.

Fox also asked the same primary election question of Republicans without Palin in the mix and without Giuliani in the list of candidates and both polls saw the leaders gain a few extra points but not significant changes.

A question about the second choice from among the candidates saw Romney with 18 percent, Bachmann at 17 percent, Palin with 10%, Giuliani at 9%, and Cain and Gingrich at 6 percent each.

A second new national poll, from McClatchey news and the Marist polling institute, also showed Perry catapulting to second place.

Romney receives the backing of 19% of Republican and Republican leaning independent voters while 13 percent support Perry and 13 percent back Giuliani. Another 11 percent of Republicans support Palin, 8 percent want Bachmann, 5 percent want Pawlenty, Paul or Cain, and two percent want either Gingrich or Huntsman.

When it comes to the quality that is most important to Republicans and Republican leaning independents, 38% want a candidate who shares their values. Nearly one in four — 24% — believe it’s most important that the Republican candidate is closest to them on the issues. 20% say they want a candidate who has the experience to govern, and 15% say the most important quality in a Republican presidential candidate is that he or she can beat President Obama.