Rick Perry, a step up for the GOP?

at 07:48 AM ET, 07/21/2011


Texas Gov. Rick Perry trails President Obama by 13 points a hypothetical 2012 matchup. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the talk of the 2012 Republican presidential race at the moment but, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll, he fares no better in a head-to-head matchup with President Obama than several longer-shot candidates in the field.

Perry trails Obama 53 percent to 40 percent among registered voters in a hypothetical 2012 matchup — a margin roughly equivalent to the 55 percent-to-40 percent edge Obama enjoys over Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and the 52 percent to 42 percent advantage he holds over Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Mitt Romney performs significantly better when matched with Obama; Obama takes 49 percent to 47 percent for the former Massachusetts governor.

The numbers suggest that, while Perry is clearly the flavor of the month among Republican insiders, he does not yet have the sort of national profile with GOP voters that would distinguish him from the other candidates seeking to be the Romney alternative in the 2012 field.

A look inside the numbers affirm the sense that Perry — along with Bachmann and Paul — are performing as any generic Republican matched against Obama would.

Perry takes 78 percent of self-identified Republicans in an Obama head-to-head matchup; Bachmann wins an equal 78 percent, while Paul receives 79 percent support.

Perry trails Obama by seven points among independents — slightly less than the 12-point deficit Bachmann faces among unaffiliated voters. (Paul, interestingly, runs in a dead heat with Obama among independents.)

Tea party supporters give Perry 66 percent in a matchup with Obama, while Bachmann takes 69 percent and Paul 68 percent.

And, even among what is widely considered Perry’s base — white southerners — he wins 58 percent of the vote, less than the 61 percent for Romney and 60 percent for Paul.

On their face, these numbers suggest that Perry would not enter the race with a major headstart with any critical constituency in a Republican primary race.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that Perry isn’t without considerable potential.

He would almost certainly be the second best-funded candidate — behind Romney — in the Republican field and the job-creation successes Texas has enjoyed during Perry’s tenure gives him a very good story to tell.

Perry is also the candidate perhaps best positioned to bridge the gap between the establishment wing and the tea party wing of the Republican party.

But, at least today, Perry is in no stronger shape than anyone in the field not named “Mitt Romnney” when it comes to making Barack Obama a one-term president.

DSCC, NRCC win June: It pays to be in the majority, as both Senate Democrats and House Republicans won the June fundraising battles.

The National Republican Senatorial Commitee announced Wednesday that it raised $3.8 million in June, bringing it’s total for the second quarter to $10.2 million and its cash on hand total to $3.7 million.

The NRSC finished behind its Democratic counterpart on all three counts. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced last week that it raised $11.8 million for the quarter, including $4.8 million in June, and had $9.8 million cash on hand. It also has an undiclosed amount of debt.

Meanwhile, on the House side, the National Republican Congressional Committee narrowly outraised the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $6.7 million to $6.2 million, and has an $11 million to $7.4 million advantage in cash on hand. The GOP committee also has less debt, $3.5 million to $4.7 million for the DCCC.

After the DCCC won the first quarter of fundraising, the NRCC won the second quarter, $15.4 million to $14 million. For the year, the two committees are roughly even.

Brown has big lead over Mandel: Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) may have been the big story of the second quarter of fundraising, after pulling in $2.3 million, but he’s got plenty of work to do to beat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Brown under that key 50 percent mark, but still leading Mandel by a wide margin, 49 percent to 34 percent.

Similar pluralities both approve of Brown’s job performance and say he deserves to be reelected.

Mandel, meanwhile leads an undefined primary with former state senator Kevin Coughlin, 35 percent to 12 percent.

Pawlenty tempers comments on Bachmann’s headaches: After delivering comments that suggested Bachmann’s headaches are a legitimate issue, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty said later Wednesday that the situation amounted to “mostly a sideshow.”

“I’ve observed Congresswoman Bachmann,” Pawlenty said on Fox News. “I’ve never seen her have a medical condition or impairment that would seem to be a concern.”

Pawlenty said his comment earlier Wednesday that president must be able to perform the job at all times was not directed at Bachmann, but that he was speaking generally about all candidates.

It’s important to note, though, that Pawlenty's initial comments came in response to a question specifically about Bachmann.

Fixbits:

A former Obama bundler urges New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to run for president.

Meanwhile, a new website urging Perry to run — TimeforPerry.com — has launched.

Former Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is advising Perry.

Democrats use the Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) dust-up for — what else? — fundraising.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) says he’s got 80 House Republican colleagues who will oppose Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) back-up plan for the debt limit.

Like Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) — a doctor — thinks Bachmann’s headaches are a legitimate issue for discussion.

Must-reads:

Mark Kelly won’t rule out political future” — Stephanie Condon, CBS News

GOP freshmen grapple with early money chase” — Tarini Parti, Center for Responsive Politics

Barack Obama’s 2008 bundlers flee political ‘machine’” — Ben Smith, Maggie Haberman and Byron Tau, Politico

Read more on PostPolitics.com

Poll: Romney still ahead, but vulnerable

News Corp. PAC boosted political donations in June

Bachmann releases physicians note on migraines

 
Read what others are saying