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If Rick Perry gets into the 2012 race, our polling shows that Romney will take the biggest hit. The latest Daily Caller-ConservativeHome poll of 667 conservative Republicans* across the country strengthens the case for a Rick Perry candidacy.
The Texas governor’s economic record is evidently well-known. He tops the list of 2012 hopefuls on the economy. When asked who among the 2012 contenders would do the best job on the economy, Perry leads by a long shot: 24% of respondents named him compared to the 19% who selected Bachmann and, more importantly, the 17% who selected Romney. Perry’s Texas record trumps Romney’s private sector record.
Romney still tops the list when it comes to the candidate grassroots conservatives think is most electable, but Perry trails closely in second place. And when respondents say who their preferred first choice is, Romney’s numbers tumble, Perry holds strong, and Bachmann spikes upward.
Take a look at the following two charts.
Romney, Bachmann, and Perry leave the remaining candidates in the dust.
When it comes to saying who they think is most electable, 34 % choose Romney, 29% choose Perry, and 21% choose Bachmann.
When it comes to the candidate respondents plan to vote for themselves, 26% choose Bachmann, 25% choose Perry, and only 12% choose Romney. Bachmann and Perry are statistically even.
We also asked about the economy and about government spending.
When asked who they think would do the best job on the economy, here’s how voters responded:
- 24% Rick Perry
- 19% Michele Bachmann
- 17% Mitt Romney
- 16% Herman Cain
- 8% Sarah Palin
- 6% Ron Paul
- 3% Newt Gingrich
- 2% Rudy Giuliani, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum
When asked who would do the best job controlling spending in Washington, here’s how voters responded:
- 29% Michele Bachmann
- 17% Rick Perry
- 14% Herman Cain
- 11% Ron Paul
- 9% Sarah Palin
- 9% Mitt Romney
- 3% Newt Gingrich
- 2% Tim Pawlenty, Rudy Giuliani, Rick Santorum
- 1% Jon Huntsman, John Bolton
Some quick conclusions:
- Bachmann has undoubtedly captured hearts and minds. Voters still think Romney more electable, but she bests him in every other category.
- This is Perry’s moment. His entry into our poll shows Romney to be highly vulnerable. Some have predicted that he would pull Tea Party support away from Bachmann, but our poll shows that Romney is the biggest loser with a Perry candidacy.
- She’s on movie screens and magazine covers, but Sarah Palin’s moment has passed. Despite the hype, voters just aren’t that into her anymore. She still does well overall, but her numbers show conservatives have largely moved on.
- Tim and Jon are worried. Pawlenty and Huntsman have a long way to go in every category.
*Respondents were taken from the Republican Panel, assembled for ConservativeHome by YouGov. Respondents are conservative Republicans, 70% of whom contribute time or money to candidates. The poll was conducted between July 8-13, 2011.