Two More Polls Show Perry, Romney Leading Republican Race

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 19, 2011   |   4:33PM   |   Washington, DC

Two more national political polls show the Republican race for president has narrowed down to pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is running as a pro-life advocate in his second bid for the GOP nomination.

While Republicans also support the several other candidates in the race, Perry and Romney, after two recent debates, have solidified their support to become the clear first and second place candidates, while the others are now struggling to stay in or reach the top tier.

A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds Perry leading the race with the backing of 31 percent of Republicans while another 24 percent say they support Romney. Ron Paul, the pro-life Texas congressman, is the only other candidate in the new survey to reach double digits — but he is 11 percent behind Romney at 13 percent overall.

Michele Bachmann, the pro-life Minnesota congresswoman, had been a top-tier candidate and won the Ames, Iowa straw poll that knocked out her home-state competition, pro-life former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Since then, she has faded and now, the poll shows, has the backing of just 5 percent of Republicans. That level of support has her tied with pro-life former Speaker Newt Gingrich, and pro-life businessman Herman Cain. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who is pro-life, is at 2 percent and pro-life former Utah governor Jon Huntsman comes in at 1%.

Republican strategist Ed Rollins, Bachmann’s former campaign manager, said today in comments that received significant attention that Bachmann will be out of the race unless she finds a way to win in Iowa, which is the first primary election battleground with its caucus vote.

“The only way she can get back in this race is to somehow win Iowa,” he said.

Meanwhile, a new Daily Caller-ConservativeHome poll, fielded September 13-16, finds, among active conservative voters, Rick Perry is still looking strong one week after his first appearances in any Republican debates.

“Romney has seen a significant boost, while Michele Bachmann’s attacks on Perry in the debate didn’t do much to slow her downward slide,” says Ryan Streeter, the pollster. “Perry’s numbers on electability held fairly constant from August and kept him atop the field, but it was Romney who arguably had the best month.”

Perry’s percentage held steady at 46%, while Romney rose from 19.8% to 34.4% since August – when it comes to electability. And when it comes to the first choice for Republican voters, Perry led as well.

Perry received the support of 35.2 percent of Republicans in that survey compared with 18.7 percent for Romney. Bachmann did reach double digits in this poll in third place with 14.1 percent, while Cain got 11.8 percent, Gingrich 8.2 percent and Paul 7.4 percent. Compared to the same poll’s numbers in August, Perry is up from 29.3 percent, Romney up from 11.1 percent, Bachmann dropped from 17 percent, Cain rose from 8.3 percent, Gingrich rose from 5 percent and Paul held steady.

In the USA Today/Gallup survey, Romney slightly bests President Obama 49%-47%, while Perry lags behind the president, 45% to 50%. In the poll, 44% say they definitely would not vote for Perry; 35% say that of Romney. Looked at another way, 62% say would either definitely vote for Romney or consider doing so; 53% say that of Perry.

Republicans are headed to Orlando, Florida for the third debate in three weeks.