I put very little stock in presidential primary polls from way before any real campaigning is going on, but I nonetheless find the latest PPP polling conclusions interesting:
A broad theme has been emerging in our state by state Presidential polling over the last couple months: if the Republicans nominate Mitt Romney it’s a toss up. And if they nominate anyone else it’s 2008 all over again. Our newest Nevada numbers very much reinforce that trend.
Barack Obama took the Silver State by 12 points in his first run. But if he had to stand for reelection today he’d be in a very competitive race against Romney, leading only 47-46 in the state. Pit him against any of the other Republicans there though and the numbers look pretty similar to last time- 9 point advantages over Herman Cain and Rick Perry at 48-39 and 49-40 respectively, a 10 point lead over Michele Bachmann at 50-40, and a 12 point advantage over Sarah Palin at 51-39.
Over the last month we’ve had similar findings in: [a bunch of states]
It’s hard to say how Perry and Bachmann would really do when they are so little known compared to Romney and they’ve actually had the chance to run a big-time campaign and get all the news coverage– good and bad– that goes with it. Still, I’ve been of the mind that the Tea Party will dominate Republican primaries and that they are so convinced of their own right-ness that they will think their favorite candidate is the most electable, despite any evidence to the contrary. I just really have a hard time seeing someone who has as moderate a record (and temperate a personality) as Romney winning over the Tea Party crowd that will likely determine the nominee. That said, anything can happen in a multi-candidate race and maybe Perry and Bachmann split the Tea Party vote.
The economy is really important in determining election results. But, most everything I have seen to this point suggests that the economy will be in a state next year such that other factors, i.e., the quality of the campaigns and the quality of the candidates could be a determinative factor. Which is why I say, “Bachmann in 2012!!”
[Also, nice post by Chait nailing the flaws of Politico while highlighting its story about Perry as a general election candidate]