Rick Perry's been mentioned in some circles as a possible future GOP Presidential candidate, but the party's voters in his own state aren't too keen on the idea. Only 14% of Texas Republicans think Perry should run for President in 2012 while 63% think he should not and 23% are unsure. That level of interest compares unfavorably to the desire of Louisiana Republicans (48%) for Bobby Jindal to make a White House bid and South Carolina Republicans (24%) for Jim DeMint to do the same.
Tested as an actual candidate Perry finishes tied for 5th at 8% with fellow Texan Ron Paul. Newt Gingrich leads the way with 23%, followed by Mike Huckabee at 18%, Sarah Palin at 17%, and Mitt Romney at 14%.
A similar poll conducted in Pennsylvania (not including Perry) finds Palin leading with 24% to 23% for Gingrich, 20% for Huckabee, 16% for Romney, and 11% for Paul.
Takeaways from these numbers:
-Newt Gingrich increasingly looks like a very legitimate candidate should he decide to run for President in 2012. He's showing strong support across the country- he's led in California, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas and finished just behind in Illinois and Pennsylvania in recent polls. Gingrich may benefit from having less of a 'loser' stench to him than the other contenders- Huckabee, Palin, Romney, and Paul were all involved in losing campaigns in 2008 and Gingrich is a reminder of the time when Republicans were in charge.
-Mitt Romney is really slipping in these polls. He had the lead in both Pennsylvania and Texas the last time we polled those states but has fallen now to 4th in both. It's a sign of how fleeting 'frontrunner' status can be this early in the game- it's really not worth much because voters aren't tuned in enough for it to be particularly meaningful or sustainable.
-I say this every single time but it always bears repeating- these top four candidates are so jumbled that it's very important not to over interpret the numbers on a poll to poll basis.
Full results here