According to a newly released Gallup poll, Rick Perry leads the field in a national survey conducted during August 17-21 with 25 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney is next with 14 percent. Ron Paul and Sarah Palin are tied with 11 percent. Rudy Giuliani garners nine percent of the vote and Michele Bachmann gets seven percent.
When only declared candidates are polled, Perry’s lead is even more sizeable. In this sample, Perry leads with 29 percent of the vote. Romney gets 17 percent. Paul gets 13 percent. And Bachmann gets 10 percent of the vote.
Of course, the Republican nominationis not decided by a national popular vote. And it’s still incredibly early in the 2012 contest with more likely entrants into the field.
In the meantime, the snapshot shows that Perry’s rollout was a success. What the mainstream media thought were gaffes on Perry’s behalf — namely comments regarding Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and evolution and climate change — not only garnered him an excessive amount of coverage, which increased his named identification, but also put him squarely on the side of conservatives and Republicans who do not like the mainstream media.
Perry’s surge to the top of the field reflects this dynamic in addition to his record of job creation as Gov. of Texas, which is in stark contrast to President Obama’s abysmal record on jobs. And on cue, Perry’s campaign slogan at this time appears to be “get America working again.”
Three other things to note in the poll. First, Bachmann numbers seem to be fading, and questions about how long she will be able to last in the race may start to nip at her heels. Second, Ron Paul has a strong base of support and his numbers have remained steady in the 10-15 percent range in almost every national and state poll. Paul’s supporters — or the issues he holds dear — may be the key that puts a candidate over the top if the primary becomes a multi-candidate slugfest.
Lastly, Sarah Palin also has a strong base of support, as reflected in her numbers. While one must assume Palin is going to be a candidate until she says she is not, many people are convinced Palin will not run, so her strong poll numbers are indicative of the strength of her potential core group of supporters.
In the meantime, it can be safely said that Perry starts in the poll position.