Sarah Palin, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann Battle for Second in 3 Polls
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Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts may be the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, but according to three separate polls released Thursday, he is hearing the footsteps of a tea party favorite. The question is, which one?
A poll from Rasmussen Reports of likely Republican voters found Romney leading the pack with 33 percent, but U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota -- who declared her candidacy during a debate in New Hampshire on Monday night -- is a surprise second with 19 percent. Businessman Herman Cain -- like Bachmann, a favorite of the tea party movement -- placed third with 10 percent, followed by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia with 9 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas took fifth with 7 percent, while former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania tied for sixth with 6 percent. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, who is expected to launch his candidacy next week, lagged behind with 2 percent.
While Bachmann did well in Monday's debate, the poll did not include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has placed second in most recent polls.
The poll of 1,000 likely Republican voters was taken on June 14 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, also released a poll on Thursday that showed another tea party favorite in second -- this time, Herman Cain. Romney leads the poll with 22 percent with Cain right behind at 17 percent. Palin took third with 15 percent, while Gingrich and Pawlenty tied for fourth with 9 percent. Bachmann came in sixth with 8 percent, followed by Paul with 7 percent. Huntsman took 1 percent.
When Palin is taken out of the equation, Romney’s lead in the poll expands. With Palin out, Romney tops the poll with 27 percent while Cain continues in second with 20 percent. Bachmann scores well with Palin out of the race, taking third with 13 percent followed by Gingrich with 12 percent and Pawlenty with 10 percent. Paul actually does worse with Palin out of the poll, slipping to 6 percent, while Huntsman moves up to 3 percent.
When Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are added to the mix, the entire race is shaken up. Christie leads the pack with 18 percent, with Romney right behind in second with 17 percent. Palin takes third with 13 percent, while Giuliani and Bush tie for fourth with 11 percent. Bachmann is in sixth with 8 percent, while Pawlenty and Paul tie for seventh with 6 percent. Christie and Bush have vocally announced their intentions not to run in 2012. Ryan has expressed little interest in running in 2012 while Giuliani, who ran in 2008, has left the door open for a second bid.
“Mitt Romney has cemented his place as the front-runner,” insisted Dean Debnam, the president of PPP. “But the rapid rise of candidates such as Herman Cain, and previously Donald Trump, reveals a fluid field and a precarious position for Romney.”
While her general approval ratings continue to suffer, the poll finds that Palin has the highest approval ratings among Republicans. Of those surveyed, 62 percent look on her with approval, while 27 percent see her in an unfavorable light. Romney does less well, though he still pulls solid numbers -- 55 percent favorability, while 27 percent think him unfavorable. Pawlenty and Cain are less well-known. While 44 percent view Pawlenty as favorable, 25 percent think him unfavorable, and 31 percent are not sure. Cain is viewed favorably by 40 percent of Republicans, unfavorably by 26 percent, and 34 percent are not sure about him. Gingrich is upside down among Republicans -- 36 percent see him favorably, 49 percent unfavorably.
The PPP poll of 544 usual Republican primary voters was taken from June 9-12 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent.
Yet a third poll released Thursday, this one from the Wall Street Journal and NBC, finds that Romney holds a solid lead over the rest of the Republican field and has Palin in second.
Romney tops the poll with 30 percent; Palin places second with 14 percent, while Cain takes third with 12 percent. The rest of the pack trails in single digits. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who has left the door open to running, places fourth with 8 percent. Paul places fifth with 7 percent and Gingrich sixth with 6 percent. Pawlenty and Santorum of Pennsylvania are tied for seventh with 4 percent. Bachmann does much worse in this poll, taking ninth with 3 percent, while Huntsman lags with 1 percent.
The poll also finds that 27 percent of all voters surveyed see Romney favorably, while 26 percent see him unfavorably. Palin, his nearest rival for the Republican nomination, is seriously upside down in the poll, with 24 percent viewing her favorably and 54 percent seeing her unfavorably. Romney also comes closest to catching President Barack Obama in the poll, but trails the Democratic incumbent (49 percent, Obama; 43 percent, Romney).
The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll of 1,000 voters across the nation was taken between June 9-13 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
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