Polls Show Perry Leading Republican Race, Bachmann Fading

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 24, 2011   |   6:13PM   |   Washington, DC

Two new polls of the Republican presidential race show pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry now leading the race and pro-life Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann fading after placing first in the Iowa Straw Poll.

Perry now has the support of 29 percent of GOP primary election voters, according to a new Gallup survey, an increase on the 18 percent he had in the same poll in July 2011. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, places second at 17 percent — a drop from 23 percent in July.

Ron Paul, the pro-life Texas congressman, comes in at 13 percent in the Gallup survey, a three percent gain from his July showing. Bachmann, who placed third in July at 13 percent, now has the support of just 10 percent of Republicans. Several pro-life candidates appeared below 10 percent in the Gallup survey — including Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich at 4 percent each, Rick Santorum at 3 percent, Jon Huntsman at 1 percent, and 2 percent of those polled favored another candidate while 17 percent are currently undecided.

“Perry’s official announcement may have overshadowed the August 13 Iowa Straw Poll, which Bachmann won narrowly over Ron Paul,” Gallup suggested. “Neither candidate appears to have gotten a big boost from the straw poll results; Paul’s support was up slightly from July and Bachmann’s down slightly.”

If Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani are added to the mix, Perry leads with 25 percent and Romney places second with 14 percent.

Conservative Republicans strongly favor Perry over Romney, but liberal and moderate Republicans support the two about equally. Perry’s support is also above average among religious Republicans, the Gallup poll showed. Men and women both favor Perry first, then Romney and then Paul and Bachmann. Older voters prefer Perry and Romney while younger voters support Paul.

Voters in the South and Midwest favor Perry the most while Romney performs best with Western voters and Midwestern voters back Paul and Bachmann the most of any region of their supporters.

Meanwhile, in PPP’s first national poll since Rick Perry’s official entry into the Republican presidential race, he’s jumped out to a double digit advantage. Perry’s at 33% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 16% for Michele Bachmann, 8% for Newt Gingrich, 6% for Herman Cain and Ron Paul, 4% for Rick Santorum, and 3% for Jon Huntsman.

“Conservative voters have been looking for a candidate that they can rally around and Perry’s filling that role,” pollster Tom Jensen said. “Romney continues to lead with the small portion of voters describing themselves as moderates at 27% to 20% for Bachmann and 15% for Perry. But Perry gets stronger and stronger as you move across the ideological spectrum. With ‘somewhat conservative’ voters Perry leads by 15 points with 38% to Romney’s 23% and Bachmann’s 11%. And with ‘very conservative’ voters the advantage expands to 22 points with him at 40% to 18% for Bachmann and 14% for Romney.”

“Perry was at only 12% five weeks ago, so he’s climbed 21 points since entering the race. The biggest losers with his entry have been Bachmann and Cain, who’ve each lost 5 points of support, and Paul, who’s lost 3 points of support. Romney and Huntsman are both unchanged from a month ago while Gingrich has actually gained a point of support,” Jensen continued.

PPP indicates that Perry also has leads in three-way matchups with Romney and Palin or Romney and Paul.

Perry also leads head to heads with both Romney (52-36) and Bachmann (56-26). In the match up with Romney, Perry picks up Bachmann supporters (47-37), Cain supporters (61-29), Paul supporters (43-28), and Santorum supporters (68-21). Romney gets Gingrich supporters (51-35) and Huntsman supporters (76-24).