Post-Straw Poll Survey Has Perry Leading Romney, Bachmann

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 16, 2011   |   1:39PM   |   Washington, DC

A new national poll of Republican voters gives pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry a big lead over his GOP presidential competitors despite Michele Bachmann’s victory in the Iowa Straw poll on Saturday.

The survey has Perry with a double digit lead following his entrance into the Republican race Saturday evening after a speech at the Red State gathering of conservative political activists. He now leads both Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely Republican primary election voters, taken Monday night, finds Perry with 29% support. Romney, who is on his second presidential bid and who, like Perry, did not compete in the Iowa Straw Poll, earns 18% of the vote, while Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who is also pro-life, picks up 13%.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who was a close second to Bachmann on Saturday in Iowa, has the support of nine percent (9%) of Republicans followed by Georgia businessman Herman Cain at six percent (6%) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with five percent (5%). Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, and ex-Utah Governor Jon Huntsman each get one percent (1%) support, while Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter comes in statistically at zero.

The Rasmussen survey shows 16 percent of Republicans are still undecided.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen says Perry has the benefit of a bounce from his entrance into the campaign but he questions how long it will last now that he has essentially become the frontrunner and other candidates begin to focus on him.

“Governor Perry is enjoying a bounce from entering the race at precisely the right time”, said Scott Rasmussen.  “Now the difficult part begins for the new frontrunner.  It’s much easier winning support when people are hoping you will get in the race, than retaining support when you are the frontrunner.”

“Still, this marks a significant jump in support for Perry, who officially entered the race on Saturday although his candidacy had been rumored for weeks. Just over two weeks ago, a survey of likely primary voters found Romney with 22% support, closely followed by Perry at 18% and Bachman with 16% of the vote,” he said.

Perry captures 39% of the vote among GOP primary voters who say they are members of the Tea Party, with Bachmann a distant second with 21% support from this group, according to Rasmussen. Perry barely leads Romney among non-Tea Party members 27% to 24%, but this marks an interesting change from the previous survey when Romney held a double-digit lead over Perry among these voters.

Other Rasmussen findings include:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of primary voters hold a favorable opinion of Perry, with 38% Very Favorable. Bachmann is viewed favorably by 71%, with 32% who share a Very Favorable regard for her. Romney has slightly higher overall favorable rating – 77% – than Perry and Bachmann, but there’s less enthusiasm in his support. Only 21% hold a Very Favorable opinion of him. Roughly one-in-five hold an unfavorable view of the three front-runners.

Paul is viewed favorably by 43% and unfavorably by 45%. Gingrich is in a similar position with favorables of 48% and unfavorables of 43%. For Cain, Santorum, Huntsman and McCotter, name recognition is still a problem, with at least one-in-four primary voters still not aware of them enough to venture any kind of opinion.