Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some good signs for Palin

PPP's newest batch of 2012 Republican primary polls conducted right before last week's election finds Mitt Romney ahead in the critical early state of Florida, Tim Pawlenty surprisingly weak in his home state of Minnesota, and Sarah Palin posting leads in Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Maine.

The most important state to the nomination process on this list is Florida and there Romney's ahead with 28% to 22% for Palin and 15% for Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee. It should be noted that although Romney does have the lead, it's a much less lofty one than what he posted in a March PPP poll of the state when he had 44%. The only other candidates included in that poll were Palin and Huckabee and we're finding more and more as we do these polls that when new folks are added into the mix it tends to hurt Romney more than anyone else. His support is less solid than Palin's and Huckabee's so even though he looks like a very nominal front runner at this point, he's also the candidate most likely to see his support collapse as things heat up.

Tim Pawlenty leads the field in his home state of Minnesota but his performance is surprisingly weak. He gets 19% with Palin right on his heels at 18%, Huckabee at 14%, and Gingrich and Romney each getting 11%. These numbers are reflective of the overall trouble we found for Pawlenty at home in our final preelection poll of the state- his approval rating was under water and voters overwhelmingly said they didn't think he should run for President. Partially because of Pawlenty's declining popularity Democrats seem to have picked up the Governor's office there in an otherwise awful year for the party. Palin actually leads Pawlenty 20-18 with conservatives but the Governor leads overall thanks to a 27-10 advantage with moderates. It is no coincidence that Romney is in the basement in this state- we've found several places now that where Pawlenty is unusually strong the victim seems to be Romney because of a greater split in the vote among GOP centrists.

Palin holds small leads in the remaining states. Most noteworthy is her strength in Texas and West Virginia, which suggests a bid from her could really hurt Mike Huckabee in the South. In Texas she gets 22% to 20% for Huckabee and 15% for both Gingrich and Romney. In West Virginia she's at 25% to 22% for Huckabee and again 15% for both Gingrich and Romney. These margins are obviously very close but they nevertheless pose trouble for Huckabee and perhaps even more so Gingrich if she ends up making a bad because strength in the South would be vital to either of their prospects.

Romney may not have a complete strangle hold on New England- Palin gets 23% in Maine to 18% for Romney, 16% for Huckabee, and 14% for Gingrich. Those numbers should give folks who think there's no chance Maine Republicans would nominate someone far right against Olympia Snowe in 2012 second thoughts. And finally Palin gets 18% in Wisconsin to 15% for Huckabee, 14% for Gingrich, and 12% for Romney. Pawlenty has his best non-Minnesota performance so far at 8%, not surprising given that it's right next door. And Pawlenty's unusually strong Wisconsin number helps to explain Romney's unusually weak Wisconsin number.

We've now released these polls in 12 states- Romney has led in 5 (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Hampshire), Palin in 4 (Maine, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin), Huckabee in 2 (Illinois, Pennsylvania), and Pawlenty in 1 (Minnesota.) We'll have the final batch of six polls (Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington) out early next week.

Full results here

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think there's no chance Maine Republicans would nominate someone far right against Olympia Snowe in 2012 because Maine Republicans only nominate people for the general election, not the primary election, and so it wouldn't be "against Olympia Snowe." Someone from the far right may be nominated instead of her, but not against her.

I also think these numbers are meaningless because you're polling likely voters from 2010, not 2012. Moreover, your poll way underestimated Cutler's performance in the gubernatorial race, giving you little to no credibility in the state. I also think comparing a five-way presidential contest to a two-way contest against an incumbent senator is apples and oranges. I also think you know nothing about Maine politics.

Anonymous said...

I know it's a small sample size, but Obama being down two points against a Generic Republican among Texas Hispanics cannot be a confidence booster for the president.

Brian, San Francisco said...

Include Ron Paul in your polls!

Christian Liberty said...

Tea Party to Sen. Olympia Snowe: ‘You’re next’

http://www.thestatecolumn.com/blog/2010/11/tea-party-to-sen-olympia-snowe-youre-next/

Keep in mind Maine has elected a "Tea Party" Republican governor LePage who can help deliver political support.

Wolf of Aquarius said...

I think that this is painting too rosy a picture for Palin. The majority of Republicans believe that Palin is unqualified to be president. I fully expect that once the election is actually underway, the large majority of anti-Palin voters will quickly coalesce under a more experienced candidate.

thisniss said...

Just curious whether it would be worth polling Ron Paul as a stand in for a potential "Tea Party" candidate other than Sarah Palin. I know you polled his standing a lot earlier this year (I couldn't find anything more recent than July, so forgive me if I'm just overlooking something really obvious), but I think it would be interesting to see if his numbers are looking better post-midterms. I would not be at all surprised to see a bit of a post-Rand "bump" for Ron Paul's electability chances/general favorability, especially amongst Tea Party types. If 2012 came down to Palin v. Paul, I think the Tea Party vote would be as torn as the Republican Party is generally right now.

Anonymous said...

Can you add Chris Christie to the mix? He leads the pack of GOP presidential hopefuls in the latest Zogby poll (yeah, I know, it's Zogby) and also won a recent GOP straw poll if I recall correctly.

Anonymous said...

If this bimbo runs again I will be voting 3rd party and throw away my vote just like I did last time when she ran with McCain....

Anonymous said...

I think they forgot to add the "Ron Paul" factor. I got a poll yesterday that didn't even mention his name. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

All of these predictions related to the 2012 elections are premature and silly. Some political junkies are never satisfied unless they are stirring up controversy and wasting time. They, really, need to get a life.

In March 2011, the first debate of the Republican primary nomination season will be held at the Reagan library and televised. Then is a good time to begin speculation on the ultimate Repub Presidential nominee. Until then, give it a rest and study the emerging political scene. Perhaps, then, you won’t make a big ass of yourself, again.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Can you add Chris Christie to the mix? He leads the pack of GOP presidential hopefuls in the latest Zogby poll (yeah, I know, it's Zogby) and also won a recent GOP straw poll if I recall correctly."

Christie has said he's not running in 2012. Same for Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Palin "would hurt Huckabee in the South" is the very reason the media has been relentlessly pushing Palin despite her dismal general election numbers, because Huckabee fairs best against Obama and Palin fairs worst. Also, the money-worshipping Republican establishment wants anyone but Huckabee since he does not pray at their altar; hence their media outlet Fox news pushes Palin too.

 
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