Friday, September 2, 2011

Perry Leads Obama 44%-41%: Rasmussen; and Thoughts on Palin

The upward trend for Perry continues, with him now taking a lead over Obama in what I consider as the most accurate and successful pollster for elections, Rasmussen.  (Rasmussen measures likely voters, as opposed to, say, Gallup, who measures registered voters.)

Now I am the first to say that trends continue until they stop, but this trend continues to show steady positive movement for Perry in passing Obama, as well as distancing himself from the other Republican contenders.  There is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip, and the possibilities are literally endless between now and the election over fourteen months away.  While the current results are at the cusp of the margin of error, there are other caveats:

Perry leads by nine among men but trails by five among women.  Among voters under 30, the president leads while Perry has the edge among those over 30.  The president leads Perry by 16 percentage points among union members while Perry leads among those who do not belong to a union.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney currently trails the president by four percentage points, 43% to 39%.  That’s a slight improvement for the Republican compared to a week ago.
The next hurdle will be the series of debates starting on the evening of Wednesday, 7 September.  With Perry now taking the lead, the other candidates will be focusing on him, and Romney thereby will be getting a bit of a pass (except from Perry).  Not only will Perry have to contend with the candidates, he’ll also have to be prepared for the moderators from MSNBC and CNBC, who are MSM members most likely to be knee-jerk (or perhaps I should say leg-tingling) liberals.

Perry will be the star in a venue where many of the public will be introduced to him for the first time, and with his initial success in the polls, they will be expecting him to hit it out of the park.  Perry is likely to give it a shot; just doing well will solidify his numbers but that would be seen as a stall in his progress.  He is going to want to maintain the upward momentum.

On a related note to the Republican field, Palin is set to deliver an announcement tomorrow.  I will predict that she will not run.  For one indicator, check the Rasmussen poll again.  Admittedly, it is only one poll and it is a snap-shot in time, but the one candidate that Obama most widely beats in a theoretical match-up at the moment (50%-33%) is Palin.  True, she has high approval numbers, but she also has high negatives as well, and in that respect she is the Republican Hillary Clinton – polarising.  Her potential following is split among the candidates already running, and she would contend with Bachmann and Perry (as well as Cain).  Her current power and potential is as a kingmaker, and she should remain so.  The main Republican focus is to unseat Obama, so as a kingmaker, her best play is to endorse Rick Perry, which I predict she will do – maybe not tomorrow, but soon.  The Republicans need to clear the field early and not waste precious time and resources contending among themselves.  If the party can coalesce around the candidate most likely to defeat Obama now, it presents a solid front against the Democrats. 

And that candidate is Rick Perry.

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