Home > General > Polls, Cash, and Momentum: Voters Waiting on Palin and Perry?

Polls, Cash, and Momentum: Voters Waiting on Palin and Perry?

Almost all of the fundraising numbers have now been made public. And one thing is clear: Coupled with polling data, Republican voters are not happy with the current field. While Mitt Romney is widely considered the frontrunner, his numbers are weak overall. In fact, Romney is only the frontrunner due to the current presence of a weak field. Earlier this year Romney has trailed the likes of Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin multiple times – two candidates who are not running and one who probably will, but has not announced. In most polls that feature only announced candidates, Romney has solid double digit leads over closest competitor Michele Bachmann. Only when there are multiple unannounced candidates polled in the mix (Palin, Perry, Giuliani) is Romney’s numbers dropped low enough to be only single digits ahead of the competition.

So, what does it all mean for the candidates?

Romney: 2Q Money Raised $18.25 Million – Poll trend: Upwards

Not a lot of money for the “front-runner.” But he is definitely not a frontrunner in the sense that George W. Bush was in 1999, especially given the lack of current competition. How the field is set now, Romney should have raised much more money. He is also in the fortunate position of being viewed as “most electable” and polished and the unfortunate position of being fairly disliked by the conservative Republican base who fear a Bush 1/Dole/McCain repeat. On the Polling front, Romney has improved mostly due to an unformed and weak field. In Quarter 1 (Jan, Feb, Mar) Romney polled in the 14-21% range. At that time Huckabee and Palin were considered his main challengers. Now, Romney ranks in the mid-teens with a large field of yet-to-be announced candidates in the mix (Palin, Perry, Giuliani, etc) up to the low 30s when only announced candidates are polled. Obviously this shows Romney’s weakness as a frontrunner as his support is cut between 25-50% when other candidates are possible to enter the fold.

Bachmann: 2Q Money Raised $2 Million President/$4 Million w/Congressional Acount, Poll trend: Upwards

Horrible fundraising numbers for Bachmann. Many had anticipated she would land in the $8-10 million range to show she is a real challenge to Romney. But she raised just $2 million in the end of June (with another $2 million transferred from Congressional account) reportedly. This puts her well behind lackluster candidates like Tim Pawlenty and even the late-announcing, Rino-Rific, and perpetual 1%er Jon Huntsman. In polling, Bachmann hung around 5% during the 1st Quarter. This has improved to the low teens with an enhanced field up to the upper-teens in a field of only announced candidates. While she has polled well in Iowa with a depressed field, she has yet to break 20% in a nationwide poll, a feat managed by Trump, Huckabee, and Palin to this point as direct challengers to Romney. Most of Bachmann’s support has come from the absence of a heavyweight Tea Party candidate in the field and the declines of Gingrich and Cain. Like Romney, her numbers fluctuate greatly depending on who is polled and who is not. Her fundraising suggests that conservatives are not yet settled that she is the best candidate to take on Romney.

Palin: 1st half Pac Money: $1.6 Million, Poll trend: Neutral

The top unannounced candidate brought in $1.6 Million through her PAC. Personally I had no clue what her PAC would bring in. I assumed more, but I also know of many, many Palin supporters who said they will not donate until she announces she runs for President, and will then donate to that account. Either way, not sure that this total is either a major plus or negative either way, but it certainly won’t blow anyone away. In polling, Palin was in the mid to upper teens in the 1st Quarter, and remained there throughout the second quarter. Of course there are so many variables that go into this, including a Public Policy Polling poll that showed barely 25% of Republicans thought Palin was running compared to over 50% who thought she was not running. This can obviously effect poll numbers. Overall, she has indicated that if she announces, it will likely be within the next 2-6 weeks and that will greatly effect both Poll numbers and fundraising.

Cain: 2Q Money Raised: $2.5 Million, Poll Trend: Up and Down

Cain raised little money despite being one of the first candidates to officially announce and a quick stint as the “it” candidate. Prior to the Bachmann “surge” Cain was the candidate polling in the low double digits. But he has faded quickly following the second debate and being surpassed by Bachmann as the new “it” candidate. Since then he has fallen to the 5-6% range in polls, or about half what he was doing earlier in the 2nd Quarter. Weak fundraising and falling polls may mean that the Cain ship has sailed and there may not be much he can do to regain the momentum he had. Cain, Bachmann, and Trump show the fickleness and emotionalism of many Tea Party voters who have jumped from one candidate to the next.

Pawlenty: 2Q Money Raised: $4.2 Million, Poll Trend: Neutral

Pawlenty came in a near tie with Ron Paul in fundraising for 2nd place to Romney. While I’ve never personally seen him as a frontrunner or a threat, many in the media continued to constantly position him as a main rival to Romney. This fundraising total shows he is neither. In polling, the news gets worse for him. He isn’t faring well in either Iowa or New Hampshire and in national polls he is little changed from the 1st Quarter. Then, he regularly scored in just the 3-6% range. The latest polls from Rasmussen, Fox, McClatchy, CNN, Reuters, NBC, ABC, and Quinnipiac had Pawlenty at 5% or less in every poll but one. His one high point? 6%. Not good for a guy who has been running for 7 months AND billed as Romney’s big challenge.

Paul/Santorum/Huntsman/Gingrich: Analysis: These four aren’t going anywhere. Paul has been running since 1988 and barely finished second in primaries to McCain in 2008 when only he and McCain remained. Santorum will be the first to drop out. I keep being told that Huntaosman is great, a real challenge to Romney, and a big threat but even after the establishment push of this Charlie Crist cartoon, he is still lucky to break the 1% mark in polls and a recent PPP poll showed he wasn’t even competitive in his home state.

Perry: I don’t think Perry is running, but everyone keeps telling me he definitely is. I think he would run if Palin doesn’t run (and that he could beat Romney) but also knows that he and Palin would be competing for the same voters and won’t run if she does. I do think he is playing in the sandbox in order to raise his profile, either for a future run or a V.P. slot with… Palin?

In many polls, “unsure/none of the above” is actually the frontrunner. Overall, i think voters are waiting (with their votes and their money) to see who how the rest of the field shapes up. Clearly, Tea party voters and conservatives are not yet willing to back a candidate, especially when two big names are waiting on the sideline. If Palin and/or Perry decide to run, I think they will have the best ability to fundraise and compete against Romney. But until then…..


Categories: General
  1. Goober Grape
    July 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Perry has all the contacts, though. His problem will be Huckabee, who resents his endorsing Giuliani. However, Giuliani will have to endorse Perry, and that can help him appeal to more moderate voters. He has the tea party conservative vote locked up. Palin will not run unless it looks like she will win. So, she will support Perry like everyone says. If she got in and killed Bachmann’s chances in Iowa, it would cost her support. Conservatives respect Bachmann’s work in the House and role as a conservative spokesperson. Unless it looks like she, Perry and Bachmann can dominate Iowa, finish off the weaker upstarts and weaken Romney.

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