PPP has Michele Bachmann Leading 2012 GOP Field
Around the State
A national poll unveiled by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to many prominent Democrats, shows that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has overtaken former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts as the leader in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination.
The poll, released Tuesday, showed Bachmann topping all GOP candidates with 21 percent, followed by Romney with 20 percent. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who has yet to formally announce he is running, placed third with 12 percent, followed by businessman Herman Cain with 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas took fifth with 9 percent, followed by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia with 7 percent. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota captured 5 percent, with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman lagging behind with 3 percent.
“For the last month, all the momentum in the Republican presidential race has been on Michele Bachmann’s side,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP. “The big question is whether she’ll be able to sustain that if other conservatives like Rick Perry and Sarah Palin end up joining the race.”
As Debnam suggested, Palin, who has not entered the contest but left the door open, could impact the race dramatically. When Palin was included in the mix, Romney led the pack with 20 percent followed by Bachmann with 16 percent. Palin came in third with 12 percent followed by Perry with 11 percent and Cain with 10 percent. Paul remains at 9 percent, followed by Gingrich with 6 percent, Pawlenty with 5 percent and Huntsman with 2 percent.
The poll has more good news for Bachmann as she leads Romney in a head-to-head match-up, taking 44 percent against his 41 percent.
Palin garnered mixed marks in the poll. While 57 percent of those surveyed think she is good for the Republicans with only 28 percent seeing her as bad for the GOP, a majority -- 53 percent -- does not want her to run. Less than a third, 29 percent, want Palin to enter the presidential race.
PPP looked at the favorable numbers of five of the candidates. Palin leads the pack with a 57 percent favorable rating, but she also has the highest unfavorable rating -- 32 percent. Romney came in second on both fronts, with 50 percent seeing him as favorable and 31 percent as unfavorable. Bachmann is seen as favorable by 48 percent and unfavorable by 26 percent. Pawlenty is the most unknown, with 43 percent not sure about the former Minnesota governor, while 32 percent see him as favorable and 25 percent as unfavorable. Cain is seen as favorable by 40 percent, while 18 percent look at him unfavorably.
The poll of 730 Republican primary voters was taken from July 15-17. The margin of error for the poll was +/- 3.6 percent.
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