Gallup poll: GOP contenders neck-and-neck with Obama

Republicans line up behind candidates to a greater extent than Dems behind president

The poll, conducted last week as Obama’s approval rating cratered around 40 percent, shows Obama leading Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., 48 to 44 percent, and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., 47 to 45 percent.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry ties the president at 47 percent each, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads Obama, 48 to 46 percent.

At this early stage of the campaign, Republicans are largely lined up behind their candidates to a greater extent than Democrats are behind the incumbent president.

Republicans are firmly behind Perry (92 percent) and Romney (91 percent). Bachmann (86 percent) and Paul (82 percent) perform slightly worse among members of their own party.

But except for Paul, all of the GOP candidates perform better among members of their party than Obama does among Democrats. Obama earns between 84 and 86 percent among Democrats across the four matchups.

Independents are split: Romney and Paul lead among that group by three points, Perry by two, but Obama leads Bachmann among independents by six points.

But there is likely to be a great deal of change between now and Election Day, according to a brief history of Gallup surveys conducted at this stage of the campaign.– In August 1995, then-Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., had a two-point lead over President Bill Clinton. Dole lost by eight.

— In August 1983, Ronald Reagan had a slender, one-point lead over former Vice President Walter Mondale. Reagan would be re-elected by 18 points the following November, after economic growth spiked in the second half of Reagan’s first term.

— In August 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Reagan were tied at 45 percent. Reagan won by 10 points in 1980.

The new Gallup poll was conducted Aug. 17-18. Gallup surveyed 879 registered voters, for a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.

The article, “Gallup Poll: GOP Contenders Neck-And-Neck With Obama,” first appeared in the National Journal.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. WakeUpAmerica
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 20:39:38

    What a pathetic state of affairs when a dimwit like Perry can pull the same poll numbers as Obama! Excuse me. I have to go stick pins in my eyes.


  2. akbagirly
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 21:15:48

    I can’t believe that the same voters who would support Romney, would also vote for Perry. That is so beyond my comprehension that it seems impossible that I occupy the same planet as these people.

    What percentage of the population are actual Republicans right now?


  3. climber357
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 08:19:15

    It is way too early for most voters. Not many people have taken a close look at the candidates.

    Par for the course.

    It is President Obama´s to lose.


  4. Dis Gusted
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 13:02:00

    the good news is there are FAR MORE democratic voters than republican. 86 million democrats to 56 million republicans….not counting independents.

    Unfortunately, the dems didn’t vote in the 2010 T-bagger shindig. They learned the hard way. The MUST come out to vote always.


  5. Martha
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 05:36:21

    This is a study that began in 2006. I do not put much faith in Gallup’s recent poll.
    It clear and becoming widely known that the teapotty wish to as Perry put it;
    ” make government inconsequential to your life” , (just think about that statement for a minute) while making what’s left of it a theocracy.

    S&P clearly put the reason for the downgrade of the US credit rating at the feet of the republicans.

    Pushing the raising of the debt ceiling to the extreme, and the rhetoric that they used and finally the worry that the Bush tax cuts would NOT expire was the the reason they gave in their public statement.

    They repeatedly gave this reason on TV interviews as well as their first public statement and they even held a further press conference to restate this.

    It cannot be more obvious that the republican party , sadly, has become a clear and present danger to the US.

    Just ask anyone living in a newly minted republican run state.

    Paul Ryan and many others will not have any town hall meetings, because their electorate is FURIOUS with them and they are to afraid to meet with those whom they are SUPPOSED to represent.

    Never before has the public been refused access to their representatives to this degree.

    There IS no “teaparty” they are ALL republicans and always have been.

    The Koch brothers just wrapped the religious right in teaparty costumes with banners and signs, then bussed them all over the country.

    Crashing the Tea Party

    Polls show that disapproval of the Tea Party is climbing. In April 2010, a New York Times/CBS News survey found that 18 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of it, 21 percent had a favorable opinion and 46 percent had not heard enough. Now, 14 months later, Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.

    Of course, politicians of all stripes are not faring well among the public these days. But in data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right.

    Beginning in 2006 we interviewed a representative sample of 3,000 Americans as part of our continuing research into national political attitudes, and we returned to interview many of the same people again this summer. As a result, we can look at what people told us, long before there was a Tea Party, to predict who would become a Tea Party supporter five years later. We can also account for multiple influences simultaneously — isolating the impact of one factor while holding others constant.

    Our analysis casts doubt on the Tea Party’s “origin story.” Early on, Tea Partiers were often described as nonpartisan political neophytes. Actually, the Tea Party’s supporters today were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born, and were more likely than others to have contacted government officials. In fact, past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today.

    What’s more, contrary to some accounts, the Tea Party is not a creature of the Great Recession. Many Americans have suffered in the last four years, but they are no more likely than anyone else to support the Tea Party. And while the public image of the Tea Party focuses on a desire to shrink government, concern over big government is hardly the only or even the most important predictor of Tea Party support among voters.

    So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.

    More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

    This inclination among the Tea Party faithful to mix religion and politics explains their support for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Their appeal to Tea Partiers lies less in what they say about the budget or taxes, and more in their overt use of religious language and imagery, including Mrs. Bachmann’s lengthy prayers at campaign stops and Mr. Perry’s prayer rally in Houston.

    Yet it is precisely this infusion of religion into politics that most Americans increasingly oppose. While over the last five years Americans have become slightly more conservative economically, they have swung even further in opposition to mingling religion and politics. It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity.

    On everything but the size of government, Tea Party supporters are increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans.


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