Rick Perry

Romney Edges Perry in New Reason-Rupe Poll; Obama's Approval Rating at 47% and Congress' at Just 14%; Nearly 75% of Voters Open to 3rd-Party Candidate

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[Click above to watch Reason Foundation's polling director Emily Ekins discussing the findings of the latest Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey]

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a 20 percent to 18 percent edge over Texas Gov. Rick Perry among Republicans and Republican-leaning voters in the latest Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey.

Two potential candidates not currently in the race, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (12%) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (8%), placed third and fourth among Republicans asked to name whom they would favor if the GOP primary were held today. They were followed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (8%), Rep. Ron Paul (7%), Herman Cain (4%), Newt Gingrich (3%), former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (2%, but no longer in the race), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (1%), former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (<1%), and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (<1%). Approximately 16% of Republican voters are undecided.

This Reason-Rupe poll  surveyed a random, national sample of 1,200 adults by telephone (790 on landlines, 410 on cell phones) over August 9-18, 2011. The overall results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The GOP presidential primary poll question surveyed 419 adults who self-identified as Republican and "lean-Republican"; that specific question has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Reason-Rupe Republican Primary Presidential Poll

Responses to "If you were voting today in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, which one of the following candidates would you favor?"

  • Mitt Romney 20%
  • Rick Perry 18%
  • Sarah Palin 12%
  • Rudy Giuliani  8%
  • Michelle Bachmann  8%
  • Ron Paul  7%
  • Herman Cain  4%
  • Newt Gingrich  3%
  • Tim Pawlenty  2%
  • Jon Huntsman  1%
  • Rick Santorum <1%
  • Gary Johnson <1%
  • Undecided 16%

Below is a chart of recent national polls listing various GOP hopefuls, updated to reflect the new Reason-Rupe findings:

The above chart shows that Perry's numbers soar when Palin and Giuliani are not included in the list of candidates (they were not listed in either the Rasmussen or Gallup polls). This suggests Perry may regain a lead over Romney if it becomes clear that Palin and Giuliani will not join the race.

Tea Party favorites Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul came next with 8 percent and 7 percent of respondents respectively. This is especially interesting since Paul and Bachmann came within 152 votes of each other at the Ames Iowa Straw Poll, with Bachmann winning. Paul consistently does well in straw polls, leading many pundits to contend this simply is a result of his being better able to mobilize supporters to come out to events. However, these new Reason-Rupe poll findings suggest that Paul's competitive standing with Michelle Bachmann extends well beyond his strong showing in Iowa.

Approval Ratings for Congress, President Obama; Support for Third-Party Presidential Candidates

The Reason-Rupe poll of 1,200 adults also finds an overwhelming 81 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing while just 14 percent approve. Forty-seven percent of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling his job, with 48 percent disapproving.  The president's bigger problem may be that 42 percent of Americans say they "definitely will not" vote for him in 2012, while 25 percent say they "will definitely" vote for him, and another 29 percent will consider voting for him.

But voters may not want to limit their 2012 presidential options to just President Obama and the eventual Republican nominee. Nearly 73 percent of Americans say they "will" or "may" consider voting for an independent or third-party candidate in 2012.  And in a three-way race like the 1992 presidential election, in which Ross Perot got 19 percent of the vote and Bill Clinton won with 43 percent of the vote, the Reason-Rupe poll finds there would be significant support for a candidate who is "conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues." Forty-eight percent of voters say they'd support such a candidate while 37 percent would not. The Tea Party could also make things very interesting if it were to run its own presidential candidate instead of supporting the GOP nominee. Nearly 37 percent of voters say they'd consider voting for a Tea Party candidate for president, 15 percent are undecided, and 49 percent say they wouldn't support him or her.

Full Poll Online

The Reason-Rupe survey is online here and here (pdf). The poll was conducted for Reason Foundation by NSON Opinion Strategy.

This is part of a series of Reason-Rupe public opinion surveys dedicated to exploring what Americans really think about government and major issues. This Reason Foundation project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.

About Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets and publisher of the critically-acclaimed Reason magazine and its website www.reason.com. For more information, please visit www.reason.org.

Video interview conducted by Michelle Fields and edited by Josh Swain. Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions of our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get automatic notification when new material goes lives.

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  1. Boo for including Palin and Giuliani in your poll. Palin is absolutely not running, and Giuliani probably won’t either. Considering there is more speculation about Paraki, you should’ve included him, if anyone.

    1. I agree. Why were they included?

      By the way, was anyone else waiting for them to start making out? They’re both pretty hot!

      1. The “acting” in the first 60 seconds reminded me of one of those 3AM penis-enlargement infomercials…with the women on the couches gabbing about what women really *really* want…

    2. Palin is absolutely not running. Thus speaketh the all-knowing, Joe M.

      1. Watch and learn, youngling.

  2. Responses to “If you were voting today in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, which one of the following candidates would you favor?”

    Mitt Romney 20%
    Rick Perry 18%
    Sarah Palin 12%
    Rudy Giuliani 8%
    Michelle Bachmann 8%
    Ron Paul 7%

    Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani aren’t candidates, so why call them that in the question?

    1. Good point. m0ar failz for Rupe-Reason. More like Dupe-tReason.

    2. Pawlenty, too, for that matter.

      1. Well this poll took place partially before Ames. Which in and of itself is poor planning. That was a huge turning point, and everyone was expecting Perry to job in around that time too. These results are really already quite out of date.

        1. Ah, that places it in a different light.

        2. These results are really already quite out of date.

          You mean McCain isn’t running?

        3. Ohhh! So this poll doesn’t even factor in the Perry “bump”… Because he’s got a double digits lead on Mittens in at least two very recent polls.

          1. Well, it partially does, since it kind of straddles Perry’s declare date. That’s probably why they’re basically tied. It had high Romney numbers at the start balanced by high Perry numbers in the second half.

  3. Paul consistently does well in straw polls, leading many pundits to contend this simply is a result of his being better able to mobilize supporters to come out to events. However, these new Reason-Rupe poll findings suggest that Paul’s competitive standing with Michelle Bachmann extends well beyond his strong showing in Iowa.

    Ron Paul outpolled Bachmann in the USA Today, CNN, and Gallup polls as well. Bachmann only won in Iowa because it’s her home state and because she hired Randy Travis to provide musical entertainment.

    1. Well it’s not really her “home” state, as she’s from Minnesota now, but I think the fact that she paid for 6,000 people to attend the event has something to do with her win.

      In either case, one point I keep making to people who use the: “Ron Paul’s followers are just sycophantic” argument… Isn’t that the point of a campaign for a politician? I mean, the whole point is for politicians to get people to want to show up and pull the lever in their favor, so if Ron Paul does that well, why is that counted against him in most reporting on the topic? Makes no sense to me.

      1. Well, Ron Paul gave out 5,000 tickets as well. But Bachmann required people to show they voted to get admission to the show. And a lower percentage of her tickets actually voted for her than Ron’s tickets voted for him.

    2. Ron Paul is not going to be President. Ron Paul Is not going to be the Republican candidate.
      The Republican candidate will be a fundie warmonger.

      1. Depends on how bad the economy gets between now and the caucuses.

        SoCons punch above their weight in the caucus system, but that won’t be enough to counter really bad economic news.

      2. Depends on how the voters vote. If Americans want to be free, they will vote for Ron Paul.

        1. “Depends on how the voters vote.”
          Very profound!
          “If Americans want to be free, they will vote for Ron Paul.”
          Being free means not living off others.
          Like I said Ron Paul will not be President.
          The dumb fucks in this country vote the sack of shit with big ears into office.

      3. Yeah Ron Paul obviously won’t be getting the war profiteers on his side, but I do think he could carry at least as many fundie votes as Romney, who could trigger . They’ll be uneasy about the drugs/prostitution/lack of federal morality policing but least Paul won’t care if they choose to indoctrinate their 30 children in a fortified compound rather than sending them to godless public schools. Plus he wants to overturn Roe v Wade. Romney is too much of an “other” with his Mormonness and might trigger a fundie revolt against the GOP. I’m betting Rick Perry has already been chosen

    3. I’m starting to wonder more and more if Bachman’s win over Paul was more of an aberration.

  4. Anyone polling Giuliani as a candidate should be taken out and shot. He got one delegate in 2008 after spending $50 million and that was, by any conceivable metric, the best possible time he realistically could have run (no incumbent, no “designated successor” to Bush, terrorism still polling in double digits as a “most concerned about” topic, etc.).

    1. …should be taken out and shot.

      Darryl Gates, is that you?

    2. it’s almost treacherous–‘er treasonous.. ‘er, no, treacherous. No wait, I had it right the second time. Treasonous.

  5. One other thing. That 75% open to a third party, in my opinion, is a bit misleading on the surface. I imagine a large majority of that group would only support a third party if they could somehow be convinced that it wouldn’t harm the “real” party they actually support.

    I think the only way a third party could have a chance is if there were actually a fourth party as well. So you’d need both a Libertarian and Green party, for example, to come into prominence in order for either to have a chance. It’s a bit of an impossible situation for that reason.

    1. Libertarians frequently appear on the ballot in AZ. They don’t win many (any?) elections, but the GOP is, as you would imagine, concerned that they could tip the balance towards the Democrats. That’s why, in the last big election, there were a number of Green Party candidates running. Looking at their bios, it became obvious that these were the homeless people who congregate near the university.

      1. I think you mean teaching assistants.

    2. I wish there was someone with Bloomberg’s money and name recognition who wasn’t Bloomberg. I’m pretty sure he intends to Ross Perot an election at some point, but he’ll probably wait until people are less pissed at Wall Street…I don’t think an obscenely rich New Yorker would do so well right now. But I could actually see him winning someday, as he’s statist enough for nearly any liberal and he’s even more of a warmonger and finance shill than most congressmen. So the election will basically be statist vs. statist vs. statist. America is hopeless

  6. Wouldn’t mind doing some polling with Emily

    1. You’d probably be okay with Michelle Fields, too. It’s because your intrinsically paternalistic.

      Me too.

    2. Also “Romney and Perry are neck and neck”. If only – that would lose ’em the so-con vote for sure…

      1. If Romney and Perry are neck and neck, could someone please get a tandem guillotine?

  7. I’m thinking of running as an Independent for Bergen County Freeholder in 2012. The climate if right for it.

    1. You better hurry Al Gore told me the climate was at a tipping point.

  8. http://www.realclearpolitics.c…..-1044.html

    47%? That seems to be a serious outlier.

    1. John – OT, I bet there’s a bunch of cultists saying “Damn! I could have had her?”.

      1. Yeah. That is definitely not one to let out of the compound.

  9. Are there really that many people under age 45ish who still have land lines? To my knowledge land lines are rare now (I haven’t had one since around 1992), and most people I know don’t answer their phone if they don’t know the phone number.

    So who exactly is this demographic that was polled? The medium in itself probably biased the poll.

    1. Dewey Wins!

    2. At least poll included some cell phones. Most are only land lines, if you can believe it. So the sampling is heavily biased in favor of the 50+ set, although they tend to vote the most anyway, so maybe that balances out. On the other hand, it definitely distorts the true vibe of the citizenry.

    3. I have a land line and no cell phone. No service where I live, and I really don’t want people to be able to call me wherever I am.

      1. Also, get off my lawn.

    4. You’re right. Interestingly enough, 90% of the remaining landlines in this country belong to DC area codes, federal government offices, and the White House.

      j/k…

    5. I have one only because the 3-in-1 package from the cable company was cheaper than buying digital cable with a dvr and cable internet by themselves. I don’t use it, I don’t even know what the number is, and the only person that calls me on it is my mom.

  10. If team red was smart, they’d just nominate Ron Paul. They’ll get their 40% regardless of who they put up, but Paul would at least get them some consideration from the 20% or so who are actually independent. The general election will be won on the margins.

    1. Yeah, but Team Red won’t win if Ron Paul wins. That’s the whole beauty of it.

      1. The last report I saw on economic trends indicates the economy stays bad or gets worse all the way to the November election.

        Any Republican can beat Obama under those conditions.

        I think you’ll find Paul’s “I told you so” campaign doing quite well with independents.

        1. Yes, but if that’s true, the the GOP establishment will do everything they can to keep Paul from getting the nod, because they don’t need him to win, and they keep their grubby little hands in everything without him. With him, the power structure takes a huge hit.

          1. I may have misinterpreted you prior post 😉

            1. Ah, I see how it could have been ambiguous.

  11. I wonder how the poll on Congress’ approval would change if the question were “Under the circumstances of a divided Congress, do you generally approve of how the representatives from your party are doing?” If, truly, only 14% approved of the job “Congress” is doing, then there would be an almost 100% turnover of incumbents each election.

  12. “Responses to “If you were voting today in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, which one of the following candidates would you favor?””

    This is a stupid question given that many of the listed “candidates” aren’t actually candidates. (see and Palin Giuliani).

    1. Relocate the final “and” as needed.

  13. REASON RAPE POLL? STEVE RAPE MICHELLE AND EMILY, THEN WHITE INDIAN, JUST FOR KICKS!

    1. I know it wasn’t Rupe-Rupe. It was something else but I don’t believe it was Rupe-Rupe.

  14. This poll useless. What would be valuable to know is how the candidates are tracking against the likely voters in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. That combined with donations received and money spent to date would give a much better indication of who the eventual nominee might be.

    1. Good point about the Registered GOP voters versus likely GOP primary and caucus voters.

      Also, in the general election polling the MSM also uses these RV polls when talking about Obama which historically gives Dems a 5 point advantage. Obama is in worse shape than the average RV poll suggests.

  15. + 50 set here. All I have is a cell phone. The other polls I have seen show Perry with a significantly statistical lead on Romney. Why is this one different? I am talking Gallup and Rasmussen.

  16. + 50 set here. All I have is a cell phone. The other polls I have seen show Perry with a significantly statistical lead on Romney. Why is this one different? I am talking Gallup and Rasmussen.

  17. Funny how Gallup polls Paul way higher than Reason.

    I also love how Reason rates Johnson at less than 1, instead of what he actually was, which was 0.

    1. The reason poll includes more people and has a really big undecided factor. Everyones poll number gets diluted this way.

    2. Maybe the pollster counted himself, so 1 out of 419 votes is < 1 percent.

  18. Is fucking Romney and Perry SERIOUSLY at the top of the list? Of all of the candidates, Team RED voters are good with these two statists?

    Fuck.

    1. Some(most?) people just like blowing people (brown?) up with overpriced shit.

    2. Perry is polling well because he is new and shiny. Give folks a few weeks to realize he’s nearly as big a nutter as Bachman and his support will fall.

      As there are only a limited number of nutter votes to go around, look for Bachman to fall too.

      1. I’m sure you are seriously under estimating the number of nutters

        See for example the LARGE majority of people that want

        NO new taxes
        NO cuts to entitlements
        BUT want a balanced budget

        Oh, and don’t cut defense.

  19. Nothing assures four more years of the One like a serious third-party candidate. Any of the above Republican candidates is preferable to the present “leader.”

    1. I’m tired of this. None of the repubs that are likely to get the nomination will be significantly better than Obama in any way. They all suck and the only hope is a real alternative to teamred/team blue.
      I am just fucking sick of hearing around every election that this time it is just too important to vote your conscience (or not vote on principle) and you just have to vote for [insert team here] or the country will fall apart. Fuck that shit.

      1. “They all suck and the only hope is a real alternative to teamred/team blue.”

        Is that the only hope? There is no alternative hope that does not involve voting, yet gets way more shit taken care of?

    2. Um, I’d take Obama over Rick Perry.

  20. I’ll believe that 74% of voters would vote for a 3rd party when I see it, thanks.

  21. man, this video makes me horny

  22. I want some SugarFree style slash-fic with these two ladies…

    1. That’s dumb. There’s a bunch of words and stuff up there just below the video too, but you don’t see anybody reading those either, do you?

  23. Wait, is the Tea Party an actual party, that will select a candidate? Or would someone more likely just run calling them self the Tea Party label?

    1. The Tea Party candidates were really just running against establishment GOPers in the primaries last time around. I don’t think they have real plans to make their own party. Not yet at least.

  24. I have this sudden, odd craving for fudge.

  25. Here’s a really interesting article on potential independent/third party runs.

    Though he refused in 2008, there would probably be a lot of appetite for a third-party candidacy from 1988 Libertarian Party nominee Ron Paul. He would get a solid 15%, with Romney falling to 33% and Obama still at 45%. Paul earns the most independent support of any of these third-party options (20%), almost all GOP-leaners, as Obama beats Romney by 20 with independents overall. Paul also holds Romney to 63% of Republicans, taking 22% himself. Despite his supporters’ claims about his popularity with Democrats, Paul wouldn’t get anymore crossover support from Democrats than any of the others.

    Those are just speculative numbers. If he could start polling that high, he would have to be allowed in a three way general election debate, right? I could totally see him winning over a ton of independents and forging a winning coalition of maybe 40% of voters. Ya think?

    1. “Despite his supporters’ claims about his popularity with Democrats, Paul wouldn’t get anymore crossover support from Democrats than any of the others.”

      Which just goes to show that the only thing Democrats care about is Socialism. All the other stuff is just to entice independents.

    2. Ron Paul is too radical to win as a 3rd Party…but, a moderate REAL liberal (like those who self-identify as Fiscal Conservative/Social Liberal, but still refuse the “libertarian” label) would absolutely clean up in American politics.

  26. Ron Paul is definitely the best for America, though as a European I’m somewhat uneasy about him winning. I hope the US under Paul won’t retreat from NATO and leave us as sitting ducks in front of the Iranian Muslims.

    Other than that, I fully support him. The entire world needs him as leader. A resurgent, even moderately libertarian US will prove to the world that freedom works and refute the Chinese when they will inevitably say that economic growth is incompatible with human rights.

    1. retreat from NATO and leave us as sitting ducks in front of the Iranian Muslims.

      F+

  27. “Paul consistently does well in straw polls, leading many pundits to contend this simply is a result of his being better able to mobilize supporters to come out to events.”

    You know who else was able to mobilize his supporters to come out to events?

  28. I just must say, Michelle Fields gives me major wood every time I see one of her videos.

  29. This interviewer Michelle Fields is terrrrrrrible. In every video. I’m sure Reason tv can find some other marginally “hot chick” who fits the bill for being on-screen AND who sounds like she’s not a moron. She’s making you guys look like amateur hour.

  30. Yes, the content of publicity came out, I support, a transparent administration is that people believe.

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