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Rick Perry Leads While Voters Want Sarah Palin on the Sidelines

September 1, 2011 - 6:00pm

A Fox News Poll unveiled late Thursday revealed that Gov. Rick Perry of Texas held a solid lead over former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The poll was conducted by Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research.

Perry topped the poll with 29 percent followed by Romney with 22 percent. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota tied for third with 8 percent each. Businessman Herman Cain placed fifth followed by former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in sixth with 4 percent. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich took seventh with3 percent. Two former governors -- Jon Huntsman of Utah and Buddy Roemer of Louisiana -- tied for eighth with 1 percent each. Former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, activist Fred Karger and U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan garnered less than 1 percent.

When other candidates -- including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- were added to the mix, Perry remained in the lead. Both Palin and Giuliani have left the door open to running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Perry led that scenario with 26 percent followed by Romney with 18 percent. Palin took third with 8 percent followed by Paul with 7 percent. Bachmann fell to a tie with Giuliani and Cain for fifth place with 4 percent. Gingrich and Santorum took 3 percent each. Huntsman and Johnson were still tied with 1 percent where they were joined by Johnson. Karger, McCotter and former Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore took less than 1 percent.

The poll of 341 Republican primary voters was taken from Aug. 29-31 and had a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent.

When Fox News looked at all voters, they found very little support for a possible Palin presidential campaign. Palin will be stumping in Iowa, which holds the first caucus, and New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Only 20 percent of all voters wanted Palin to run for the White House while 74 percent opposed the idea -- and the voters who wanted her staying out of the contest included a large part of her base.

A mere 25 percent of Republicans backed a Palin presidential candidacy while 71 percent were lined up against it. Even among voters who considered themselves part of the tea party movement, Palin flopped. Only 28 percent of the tea party voters supported Palin entering the race while 66 percent opposed it.

She did even worse among independents and Democrats. Twenty-one percent of independents wanted Palin to run while 66 percent did not want her in the race. Palin floundered with Democrats, with only 16 percent wanting her to run while 80 percent wanted her to stay on the sidelines.

The poll of 911 registered voters was taken from Aug. 29-31 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at or at (850) 727-0859.

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