Presidential Derby

Mitt Romney leads in a new poll, while Michele Bachmann moves up and Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty fade
By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 22, 2011 3:55 PM

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A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found that former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts was leading the Republican presidential pack while U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann moved up to second place. Romney took 30 percent in the poll and Bachmann, who had 3 percent in the June version of the poll, was second with 16 percent. Two Texans came next with Gov. Rick Perry in third at 11 percent and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in fourth with 9 percent. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia took fifth with 8 percent followed by businessman Herman Cain at 5 percent. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania came in seventh with 3 percent followed by former Govs. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Jon Huntsman of Utah with 2 percent each ... While Bachmann’s surge in the polls commands attention, keep an eye on candidates who are fading. Cain took 12 percent in the June version of the poll and now stands at less than half of that. For the moment, tea party voters are going for Bachmann over Cain though, interestingly, Romney leads tea party voters in the poll with 24 percent ... Pawlenty has been slipping as the months have gone by. While he took 6 percent in April’s poll, he dropped to 4 percent in June and now stands at 2 percent ...

The pressure keeps building for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to enter the Republican race. Kenneth Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot, has been leading the latest effort to get Christie to jump in, but the New Jersey governor continues to bat away suggestions that he enter the contest ... Gingrich came out swinging on Wednesday. He rejected comparisons of the current stalemate in Washington over raising the debt ceiling to the problems that he faced when he squared off against President Bill Clinton during the mid-1990s, noting the economy was much more robust back then. He also called for repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act, labeling it as burdensome and adding more private-sector regulations ... In the meantime, Romney and Perry -- who has yet to enter the race but appears increasingly likely to do so -- both headed out to California to raise campaign cash this week. Assuming that he runs, Perry is clearly looking to the Golden State for support, as this is the third time that he has visited there in the past six weeks ...

Despite a lack of campaign cash and weak poll numbers, Santorum continues to pick up impressive endorsements in key early states. On Wednesday, Santorum announced two endorsements from prominent conservatives in New Hampshire. He got the backing of George Fellendorf, a veteran conservative activist who led the state Christian Coalition, and Ellen Kolb who is with conservative group Cornerstone-New Hampshire ... Former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico is starting to get more media attention as he continues his dark-horse bid for the Republican nomination. Johnson made appearances on both Fox News and CNN last week and earned some attention for his refusal to sign campaign pledges. Earlier this month, Johnson refused to sign a marriage vow being pushed by a conservative group called the Family Leader ... This week, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama highlighted the fact he was given an award by the Institute on the Constitution in early June. The group is affiliated with Michael Peroutka who was the Constitution Party’s presidential candidate in 2004. While Peroutka is no longer active with the Constitution Party, Moore’s post -- and his distinct lack of success so far in his bid for the Republican nomination -- has increased speculation that he will seek the conservative third-party’s nomination. Moore has flirted with the Constitution Party before ...

The fundraising team behind President Barack Obama’s 2012 bid hits New York on Thursday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel -- formerly Obama’s chief of staff -- will headline three New York events on Thursday, the first in a series of fundraising events featuring former White House staffers ... The Obama fundraising team has more than a little Green Mountain flavor. Three of the top 27 campaign fundraisers are from Vermont. The three residents of the state -- Jane Stetson, the granddaughter of IBM founder Thomas Watson, Carolyn Dwyer and venture capitalist Charles Kireker and his wife -- have all raised in the six digits for the Obama 2012 effort ... While he has insisted that he is leaning against running for the presidency in 2012, Ralph Nader continues to fire away at Obama. This week, Nader attacked Obama for being a coward for not naming Elizabeth Warren to lead the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (2)

6:44AM SEP 28TH 2011
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6:44AM SEP 28TH 2011
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