Rick Perry Ahead of Mitt Romney for Republican Nomination

Romney and Ron Paul would beat Obama in the general election match-up

Sep 27, 2011, 06:04 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Republicans are continuing their marathon to the finish line that is the first caucus with debates and straw polls. And, as might be expected in such a marathon, the leaders will change as the race moves towards that line. Among Republicans, over one in five (22%) say they would vote for Texas Governor Rick Perry while just under one in five (18%) would vote for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The nearest challengers are all under 10% - Ron Paul (7%), Sarah Palin (7%), and Michele Bachmann (7%). The rest of the field falls out as Herman Cain (5%), Newt Gingrich (4%), Jon Huntsman (1%) and Rick Santorum (1%) with over one-quarter of Republicans (28%) still undecided.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,462 adults surveyed online between September 12 and 19, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Among Independents, who can vote in some Republican primaries, the lead changes. Mitt Romney claims the top spot (15%) followed by Ron Paul (12%). Rick Perry falls to third place at 11% with all other candidates at 6% or less. But, over two in five Independents (43%) are not at all sure who they would vote for in the Republican primary.

Among Conservatives, over one-third (35%) are still not at all sure which candidate they would vote for in a primary. One in five, however, would vote for Rick Perry (21%) while 14% would vote for Mitt Romney. All other candidates are under 10% among Conservatives. Looking at those who say they support the Tea Party, Perry is the top choice for one-quarter (24%) while 14% would vote for Mitt Romney and 9% for Ron Paul. All other candidates are at 7% or less and over one-quarter (28%) say they are not at all sure which candidate they would vote for in the Republican primary.

Republicans versus Obama

Looking ahead to the general election, there are two candidates who would beat President Obama and one who would make it a very close race. If Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee, he would win over President Obama 53% to 47%. If Ron Paul was the Republican nominee, he would beat President Obama 51% to 49%. The Republican candidate that would make this a tight race for President Obama is Rick Perry. If he was the nominee, the President would win 51% to 49%. Among the rest of the possible Republican nominees, President Obama would win with 54% against Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman or Herman Cain, he would win with 55% of the vote against Newt Gingrich and with 57% of the vote against Sarah Palin.

So What?

The Republican nomination is a moving target full of twists and turns. The post-mortems on debates could move the needle as could who wins a straw poll. With Herman Cain's surprise win in a Florida straw poll, will that give him a bump in the standings? Or is the Perry versus Romney story the one that dominates the standings? And, there is still talk about possible new entries into the race. In a few short months the field will be set, but at this stage fluidity is still the norm.

TABLE 1

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY ELECTION

"If you were voting in the Republican primary election and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?"

Base: All adults



Total March 2011

Total May 2011

Total July 2011

Total Sept 2011

Political Party

Political Philosophy

Tea Party
Support

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Mitt Romney

10

10

11

14

18

13

15

14

15

13

14

Rick Perry

NA

NA

5

11

22

3

11

21

8

2

24

Ron Paul

NA

6

7

9

7

7

12

8

9

10

9

Jon Huntsman, Jr.

NA

1

3

5

1

7

6

1

5

10

1

Sarah Palin

7

5

8

4

7

3

4

6

4

4

6

Michele Bachmann

2

2

4

4

7

2

3

6

3

4

7

Herman Cain

NA

2

3

3

5

1

3

6

2

1

7

Newt Gingrich

5

4

1

2

4

1

2

3

1

1

3

Rick Santorum

1

*

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

*

1

Not at all sure

45

42

44

48

28

63

43

35

52

56

28

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than .05%; NA indicates it was not asked in that poll.




TABLE 2

2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE OR PRESIDENT OBAMA

"Looking at the list below, assuming each person listed is the Republican nominee running against President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, who would you vote for?"

Base: All adults



Would vote for

President Obama

The Republican nominee

%

%

Sarah Palin

57

43

Newt Gingrich

55

45

Herman Cain

54

46

Jon Huntsman, Jr.

54

46

Rick Santorum

54

46

Michele Bachmann

54

46

Rick Perry

51

49

Ron Paul

49

51

Mitt Romney

47

53

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding




TABLE 3

2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE OR PRESIDENT OBAMA

"Looking at the list below, assuming each person listed is the Republican nominee running against

President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, who would you vote for?"

Summary of those who would vote for the Republican nominee

Base: All adults



Total March 2011

Total May 2011

Total July 2011

Total Sept 2011

Party ID

Philosophy

Tea
Party
Support

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Mitt Romney

49

49

51

53

93

20

53

85

46

19

90

Ron Paul

NA

45

50

51

89

17

52

83

42

20

85

Rick Perry

NA

NA

46

49

90

15

48

82

41

18

88

Michele Bachmann

41

42

46

46

87

13

45

80

38

16

86

Rick Santorum

43

43

45

46

86

14

44

80

37

15

84

Jon Huntsman, Jr.

NA

41

45

46

86

13

46

79

36

17

83

Herman Cain

NA

41

44

46

85

12

47

79

37

14

85

Newt Gingrich

44

44

46

45

86

11

46

80

36

13

83

Sarah Palin

42

42

46

43

81

11

41

75

33

15

82

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; NA indicates it was not asked in that poll.




Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 12 and 19, 2011 among 2,462 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J40805
Q1225, 1230

The Harris Poll® #103, September 27, 2011
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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Harris Interactive
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press@harrisinteractive.com

SOURCE Harris Interactive



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