Texas Gov. Rick Perry has zoomed to the front of the line of GOP presidential candidates with a 24 - 18 percent lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Republican voters, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Romney and President Barack Obama are in a dead heat while Perry trails the president by 3 points in 2012 matchups.Let's be blunt: Things are bleak for this failed president.
Republicans and Democrats are tied 38 - 38 percent when the independent Quinnipiac University survey asks American voters who they would vote for in the 2012 races for U.S. Congress - the so-called "generic ballot."
The percentage of all registered voters who say President Obama deserves a second term in the Oval Office has fallen to a negative 42 - 51 percent, matching a 41 - 50 percent all-time low reading on whether he deserves another four years in office from a March 30 survey.
"Gov. Rick Perry has sprinted out of the gate as a candidate for the GOP nomination," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Being the new kid on the block has benefitted Perry. But with prominence comes scrutiny and both his Republican competitors and the Democrats are doing their best to convince voters he's not Mr. Wonderful. The next few months will be a race between Perry and his Republican and Democratic opponents to define him for the vast majority of the American people."
Among Republicans and independent voters leaning Republican, Perry gets 24 percent to Romney's 18 percent, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's 11 percent, Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's 10 percent, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's 9 percent and businessman Herman Cain's 5 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gets 3 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Michigan U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter get 1 percent each.
If Palin doesn't run, Perry leads Romney 26 - 20 percent with Bachmann at 12 percent.
"The president is now dead even with one top Republican and just inches ahead of the other. He needs to improve his standing among men, whites and independents to ensure his re- election," said Brown.He'll be going 0-for-3 with those groups.