New CNN Poll: Perry sits atop GOP field
August 29th, 2011
01:30 PM ET
3 years ago

New CNN Poll: Perry sits atop GOP field

Washington (CNN) – A new national survey is further proof that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's entrance earlier this month into the race for the White House has dramatically altered the battle for the Republican presidential nomination.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll of Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP, Perry now sits atop the list of Republican presidential candidates, with strong support from most demographic groups.

Full results (pdf)

The survey, released Monday, indicates that 27 percent of Republicans nationwide support Perry for their party's nomination, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's making his second bid for the White House, at 14 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin follows at ten percent, with Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at nine percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who's making his third bid for the presidency, at six percent. Every one else listed on the questionnaire registered in the low single digits.

The survey follows a Gallup poll out last week which also placed Perry at the top of the GOP field. Other polling released in the past week also confirms the findings of the CNN and Gallup surveys.

"Perry's support is higher among Republican men, at 32 percent, than Republican women, at 23 percent, but he has more support among either group than any other candidate," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the survey, Perry supporters tend to be older and have higher incomes, but the longtime Texas governor also tops the list, albeit by smaller margins, among lower-income Republicans and those under 50 years old.

"Perry's biggest support comes from Republicans who say they are supporters of the tea party movement - he wins 37 percent of their vote - but he also edges Romney by a couple of points among Republicans who don't call themselves tea party supporters," adds Holland.

While both Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and Giuliani, who ran for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, have both frequently flirted with bids for the White House, neither has taken concrete steps to launch a campaign.

Take Palin and Giuliani out of the mix and listing only the announced candidates, and the poll indicates Perry with 32 percent support, followed by Romney at 18 percent, Bachmann at 12 percent, Gingrich at seven percent, Paul at six percent, and everyone else in the low single digits.

While Perry has surged in the polls following his late entry into the race, the question remains whether he can maintain his position in future surveys. The last two candidates who made high profile late entries into the race for the White House did not have staying power.

"In 2003, Wesley Clark was a late entrant in the Democratic field and almost immediately jumped to the top of the pack. Fred Thompson did the same thing four years later on the GOP side and quickly was in a virtual tie for first place. But by November, both men had dropped in the polls and neither did very well when the voting started," says Holland. "Bill Clinton was a late entry in 1991 - he filed his papers with the Federal Election Commission in August - but the Democratic field that year was much less crowded than the GOP field today."

Much could change in the coming weeks, as the pace of the race for the White House picks up with a vengeance over the next two months, with five GOP presidential debates (including two CNN debates) and six major events that will also attract many of the candidates.

Meanwhile, the survey indicates that number of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic party who would like the party to nominate someone else besides President Barack Obama has topped out after months of steady growth.  Seventy-two percent of Democrats want to see Obama re-nominated, with 27 percent wanting a different candidate. That's virtually unchanged since early August, although it is higher than in June.

The CNN/ORC International Poll was conducted August 24-25, with 467 Republicans and independents who lean Republican, and 463 Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC poll • Rick Perry
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. caligula

    You can bet it's the religious fanatics on the right propelling Perry support over Romney. The fact that Romney is a better candidate doesn't matter because he's a Mormon, which doesn't jive with the religious right. Just like blacks voted for Obama because he's black, the religious right will vote for their own too.

    All the while, the BEST candidate, Herman Cain, remains further back in the field. Obama has ruined the chances of another black candidate winning an election for president for quite some time.

    August 29, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Jean

    I cannot believe people cannot see what I see

    August 29, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Is this what a front row seat to the decline of our civilization looks like? Perry, Bachmann, and even Palin, all considered viable presidential material? Seriously? Are there no reasonable republicans remaining after the GOP let the birchers in?

    August 29, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Embarrased Conservative

    How is it possible that he is on top of any poll? I know the rest of the field is worthless but considering he is worthless, the Bush factor, and worse of all the treason factor how can anyone support this guy and sleep well at night?

    August 29, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Liz 'Tis

    RIck Perry would be more of the same–Bush/Obama–overspending our economy into oblivion. Ron Paul 2012.

    August 29, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. SaintM

    Polls don't matter now. McCain got a big boost when he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate–everyone was so thrilled that a woman was on the ticket–only to have that disappear into thin air about a month later.

    Perry has not been vetted on the national scene, so let's give the poll stuff a rest. The time to discuss polls is a long way off. Perry is a fast horse out of the gate, but with no stamina–wait and see.

    August 29, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. ClydeTheSlyde

    Wait until the press educates the voting public about Perry's extremist background. Tea party support alone won't get anyone into the white house. The moderate republicans and independents will stay home or go for Obama!

    August 29, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Rick Perry is and always has been a "GOVERNMENT WELFARE RECEIPIENT" because he's never in his life had a private sector job. Ask yourself, how he got rich working for the Government all his life. Better yet, ask Perry himself. Inquiring minds need to know.

    August 29, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Maxwell Genaw

    Perry is a Bilderburg member and worked for Al Gore

    Ron Paul 2012

    August 29, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Mike in Wylie

    Just how well would a Democrat running as a Republican do in the poles?

    August 29, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Ann Marie

    Can't wait if Perry wins the nomination, to see him debate Obama. That would be hilarious.

    August 29, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. harry

    I don't believe the poll. I have nothing against any of the candidates it's just that I don't believe the polls and I would even go so far as to say there is a purpose behind an alleged poll reporting as they did.

    August 29, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Nobody ever LIKED romney. Romney has zero likeability to everyone except old women like karl rove.

    August 29, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. logic in LA

    Wait until they get to know him

    August 29, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Bob Johnson

    Rick Perry scares me; he has actually run a large state for 12 years, has worked to reduce harmful regulations, taxes, and litigation, and his state has an excellent economy relative to the other 49. Obama, on the other hand, had zero experience running anything, had zero accomplishments in the senate, and has worked hard to increase taxes and regulations on businesses while rewarding his union buddies. This election will be a tough call for me.

    August 29, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Larry L

    What can these people be thinking? After Perry ruined Texas some Americans want him in the White House? This corporate lap-dog has flipped-flopped on every issue to gather voters. He "balanced' the Texas budget on the back of stimulus money – but still produced a 27 billion dollar shortfall. Our schools are going downhill and our infrastructure is crumbling. He believes the Earth is less than six thousand years old. He said the Bible is the only book kids really need. He wants to kill the EPA, MEDICARE, and Social Security. What sort of right-wing freak would a person need to be to vote for this fool?

    August 29, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Seventy-two percent of Democrats want to see Obama re-nominated, with 27 percent wanting a different candidate.
    ==============================================================================================
    It's nice to see that 27% of Democrats have given up the kool-aide but 73% is still a very high number that want to continue down the road to destruction with Obama at the helm. Let's see what this looks like after another year of the Obama nightmare.

    August 29, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Bosman

    HaHaHaHa! A National Poll???? Who's participants are all from THE SOUTH. Then you have the nerve to say Perry leading nationwide. YOU WISH!

    August 29, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Kash

    At this point, that's about what I would expect.

    August 29, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. global perry

    Perry is a globalist stooge. U might as well vote for obama if u like perry and that goes for bachmann and romney too. While perry was pushing al gore, dr. ron paul was pushing libertarian ideas based only on the constitution. Perry pushed the deadly gardisil vaccination on litle girls in texas, pushed for nafta control of texas highways, allowed tsa to continue molesting travellers by not signing an anti gropping bill into law after passed in state legislature, perry met w bilderberg group is determine his ability to help their agenda. Perry will be worse than w. bush. Might as well vote for obama instead. They both will 'lead' the exact same.

    August 29, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Mike

    Vote for Perry "more of the same"

    August 29, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. caligula

    You can bet it's the religious fanatics on the right propelling Perry support over Romney. The fact that Romney is a better candidate doesn't matter because he's a Mormon, which doesn't jive with the religious right. Just like b lacks voted for Obama because he's b lack, the religious right will vote for their own too.

    All the while, the BEST candidate, Herman Cain, remains further back in the field. Obama has ruined the chances of another b lack candidate winning an election for president for quite some time.

    August 29, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. caligula

    You can bet it's the religious fanatics on the right propelling Perry support over Romney. The fact that Romney is a better candidate doesn't matter because he's a M ormon, which doesn't jive with the religious right. Just like b lacks voted for Obama because he's b lack, the religious right will vote for their own too.

    All the while, the BEST candidate, Herman Cain, remains further back in the field. Obama has ruined the chances of another b lack candidate winning an election for president for quite some time.

    August 29, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. dan in Alquerque

    Being the front runner in such a gaggle of misfits means little...only that one misfit had lot more corporate money than they do. His real story wil be revealed when and if the mainstream Republicans and the Obama team find out he is the nominee.

    August 29, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Voice of Reason

    The guy is delusional. Plain and simple. Maybe he'll pray for votes like he prayed for rain... Here's hoping he gets the same results.

    August 29, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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