New CNN Poll: Perry sits atop GOP field
August 29th, 2011
01:30 PM ET
10 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. obama victim

    welcome President Perry

    August 29, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Gloria in NW

    Spend some time reading comments in various strings by people from Texas. The vast majority of them are anti-Perry, and they should know. I'd dismiss the idea of a Perry Presidency as ridiculous, but we elected George Bush twice. I do like to think that maybe more people are waking up now to the realities of the brutal extremist right.

    August 29, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Sue

    Perry is as bad for the Republicans-as Obama is for the Democrats. Perry passed the Texas Dream Act for illegals in 2001. Perry does believes that we should have open borders with Mexico, and does not believe in a border fence. Perry supported amnesty for illegals. Perry wanted the "Super Highway"-which would have meant open borders from Mexico, into the US, and into Canada. Perry called those who wanted our immigration laws enforced "racists". Those of you who do not believe me-do your research!! Don't believe what Perry is saying "now"--research what he has said/done in the past.

    August 29, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    Oh goodie, is he sitting on the "top" with his legs crossed or is he giving us another barf moment to look at the crown jewels of the secessionist family tree?

    August 29, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |

    Yeah, mhmm, sure, whatever. Slow news day, CNN?

    August 29, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. un-sung nj

    run to polls on election day, this man is very dangerous!!!!

    August 29, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. rs

    The only candidates that might siphon off independent and Democratic voters are Huntsman, and perhaps Romney (although he is rapidly becoming poisonous with his rightward moves). Perry is G. W.Bush all over again. No one but the GOP/TP will vote for him, whether or not he figures out if he is seceding from the union!. For the rest of us, no way.

    August 29, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Soothsayer

    The poll indicates that for anyone under 50 years old there is no data (in the 18-34 and 35-50), yet there is data for those under 50 under the same name column. What gives? I'd like to see some of the breakouts for those in the younger demographics.

    August 29, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Tom in the Great NW

    Every time he salutes is he saluting the confederate flag, the LOSER FLAG?
    Obviously, another Dubya, will he ATTACK ANOTHER WRONG COUNTRY? IRAQ was already taken by Dubya.

    August 29, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. thomas

    He will most likely be our next Commander of Grief , America Luvs Cowboys !


    August 29, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Newmoon2

    The GOP clown du jour! He'll be the darling until his lack of control over his mouth and crazy ideas get sufficient coverage. He's the male version of Bachmann or Palin. All fluff, no substance. Or as they say in Texas, all hat, no cattle.

    August 29, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Can Perry sustain his levels at the top of the polls? If history is any guide, he won't last there long enough to get the nomination. I am sure that there will be questions raised about the kind of jobs that these people have that he claims. There are more questions to come; you can count on that.

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

    Before you pick another Texan you better check the State's Deficit. Big Spender PERRY

    August 29, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. donna

    Romney can balance a check book..He is my man..

    August 29, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. CaliforniaBC

    Can this guy look ANY more like a stereotypical, made for a TV movie, politician?

    August 29, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Woody

    I live in Texas...I got to tell don't want the guy leading the country.

    August 29, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Clwyd

    So most republicans think that states should secede from the Union and governors should appoint Senators rather than elect them? Abuse of power only breeds more abuse and you want this man with these ideas to be president. How sick!

    August 29, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |

    So he's officially the top Idiot?

    August 29, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Fannatic

    Oh no, the rich evil senior citizens like Perry.

    August 29, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Name

    Perry tried to have Texas secede from the union two years ago. Now he wants to lead it. Kinda shows his level of patriotism.

    August 29, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. James Orleans

    Perry's sordid past will eventually catch up with him. Anyway, he's pretty much an empty suit...Al Gores former campaign chair. Can Republicans really be so gullible as to vote for this guy? Paul, or even Romney, would be a much better choice.

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

    Remember everyone. God told Perry to run. Of course he also told Bachman to run. God is such a flip flopper.

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

    I don't get it. This guy is an absolute loon. His view on Texas leaving the union are absolutely NUTS... and THIS is the guy who is in the lead?!?!?!? Republicans are all NUTCASES.

    August 29, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Perry will flame out in 6 weeks, even though corporations have given him a blank check to be a yes man.

    August 29, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Judas

    lol.... Palin isnt even in the race and she is beating Bachmann. Obama's only hope is that the repubs are putting up a bunch of religious nuts and bozo's.

    August 29, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
1 2 3