Thursday, June 2, 2011

Romney, Palin lead the way

PPP's first national poll looking at the Republican Presidential race since Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they wouldn't run finds Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin in a tie at the top with 16% each. Tim Pawlenty at 13% and Herman Cain at 12% are also in double digits with Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul each at 9%, and Jon Huntsman at 4% rounding out the field.

Romney's support is built on moderate and center right Republicans, while Palin's winning the most conservative faction of the party. With moderates Romney's at 26% with only Pawlenty at 15% also reaching double digits and Palin in third at 8%. With 'somewhat conservative' voters Romney likewise leads with 19% to 15% each for Pawlenty and Palin. But with voters identifying as 'very conservative' Romney finds himself well back in 5th place at 11% with Palin leading the way at 20%, followed by Cain at 15%, Bachmann at 13%, and Pawlenty at 12%.

If Palin doesn't run Romney leads with 20% to 13% each for Gingrich, Bachmann, and Pawlenty, 12% for Cain, and 11% for Paul. It may seem surprising that Palin not running would take Romney from a tie to a 7 point lead. But that's because most of Palin's support goes to people who poll at only single digits when she's in the picture. 22% of Palin voters say they would go for Bachmann, 17% to Gingrich, and 15% each to Romney and Paul. Cain and Pawlenty, already in double digits even with Palin in the field, each pick up only 2% of her supporters so Romney gains ground on them with her out of the picture.

This poll provides more evidence for the collapse of Newt Gingrich. In addition to having just single digit support more primary voters (44%) now express an unfavorable opinion of him than have a positive one (39%).

One game changer that could help Romney and Pawlenty's prospects for the nomination? The Rapture. 18% of GOP primary voters believe it will occur in their lifetimes and 31% of them support Palin to 15% for Romney, 11% for Cain and Gingrich, and 10% for Pawlenty. Let's say that Harold Camping's revised projection of October for the event comes true and that all the Republicans who think it's coming go up. With those voters taken out of the equation Romney leads with 16% while Pawlenty moves into second at 14%, and Palin and Cain tie for 3rd at 13% each.

Although only 18% of Republican voters think the Rapture will occur in their lifetimes, a whooping 72% of them think they would be taken up in the event that it did occur. If Romney was still here after that his nomination prospects would really be enhanced- with the 28% of GOP voters who either think they would not go up or are unsure Romney gets 23% to 13% for Pawlenty, 11% for Paul and Cain, and 10% for Palin and Bachmann.

It would be a Pyrrhic victory for him though because as our general election numbers showed Barack Obama would be pretty much unstoppable for reelection if everyone who thought they were going in the Rapture was right about it.

Full results here


I Am Iron Man said...

It seems likely that "very conservative" voters are more likely to take part in the Republican primaries than the other groups... If this theory is correct then this could lead to a big problem for Romney.

I kind of wish Cain would go away so Palin could take his support and move out in front. As an Obama supporter I really want Palin as the nominee... it would be beautiful.

Not that I think Cain would be a good candidate for the Republicans either - he'd probably end up being just as bad as Palin... but I just have my heart set on ol' Sarah.

Anonymous said...

Well, if the Rapture occurs, that would be a powerful sign for truth of religion, and would likely make the population instantly far more conservative.

Jokes aside, I do find it surprising that Palin's supporters become so divided if she doesn't run. I was expecting the majority of them to go to Bachmann (and Gingrich, Cain, etc.) A bit weird to see so many Republicans whose first choice is Palin, but second choice is Romney/T-Paw.

Anonymous said...

You don't say it, but this looks like a breakthrough for Pawlenty. He's in 3rd place here, just 3 points in back of the front runners--most previous polls have shown him running far back, often 7th or 8th. It will be interesting to see if other polls confirm this. I've been dismissive of Pawlenty bacause of his persistent low polling, but maybe he's turned a corner.

craigs said...

Ah Yes,
Same crowd that gave us 1964 and the Goldwater debacle. The True Blue Conservatives who would rather go down with the ship than get to the shore. I love em all. With Sarah's general election numbers, the GOP could easily beat Barry Goldwater and not win ANY states. These folks would smile anyway.


The Interesting Times said...

Camping's revised prediction is actually that the entire planet will be destroyed in a fireball this October. (He reinterpreted the Rapture earlier this month as a "spiritual" event that he insists did happen.)

So a correct Harold Camping would mean no 2012 election at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm still dismissive of Pawlenty, and the Minnesota poll PP did shows just why.

Kevin said...

Interesting that Cain gets such little support from Palin supporters.

It's also interesting how Pawlenty is suddenly doing so much better. I think, now that it seems he's starting to catch on, he could win the nomination through a path of being everyone's second choice. He's just bland enough that he could win.

As for Gingrich, he needs to drop out. He's not doing well. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't make it to the primaries.

Finally, the 18% 'rapture in my lifetime' numbers are way lower than I would expect. I thought other polls showed around 40% of Americans believed the rapture could happen in the next year.

Anonymous said...

Pawlenty's got the ground game...he's working Iowa the same way a certain Illinois senator did back in 2007. It's a long way off, but based on that alone I wouldn't be surprised if he won the Iowa caucus. And whoever wins New Hampshire will have to lean somewhat Palin doesn't have a chance there. Will be interesting to see which candidates get the most media attention (Palin, obviously, if she runs) vs which candidates that are actually putting in place the organizational structure that wins campaigns.

vp said...

... but what if Obama got raptured as well?

Anonymous said...

Come on I know he's an underdog, but you could've at least ASKED about Gary Johnson...

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin for President. OMG! This stupid lady doesn't know what 3rd graders know about Paul Revere. He rang bells to warn the British HUH?? Sarah darling he carried lights to warn our side that the British were coming. And used lanterns...One if by land an two if by sea. Now remember that!!!!

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