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June 16, 2011

Rasmussen: Romney And Bachmann Lead After CNN "Debate"

When even a candy ass RINO like me was impressed by Michele Bachmann it was pretty clear she was going to get a nice bounce out of Monday night's, er, thing.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely GOP Primary Voters, taken following the candidates’ Monday night debate, shows Romney earning 33% support, with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann a surprise second at 19%. Georgia businessman Herman Cain is in third place with 10% of the vote.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich picks up nine percent (9%) support, followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul with seven percent (7%), ex-Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at six percent (6%) and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum also earning six percent (6%). Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who did not participate in the debate but is expected to announce his candidacy on Tuesday, gets two percent (2%) of the vote. Eight percent (8%) prefer some other candidate.

Romney and Bachmann are tied among primary voters who say they are Tea Party members, with 26% support each. Romney holds a 36% to 16% lead over the congresswoman among non-members. Most primary voters regard all the candidates with the exception of Huntsman as conservative, but Bachmann is seen as the most conservative.

I'm surprised to see Romney doing so well with self-identified tea party voters. I imagine that's because a lot of folks calling themselves tea party voters in this survey don't fit the traditional profile (in other words, you'd roll their eyes when you hear them call themselves that based on some of their other positions). Perhaps these voters are more pragmatic than the MFM likes to give them credit for and see Romeny as the best chance to beat Obama. Either way, it's surprising to see Mr. RomneyCare polling well with tea partiers.

As for last week's flavor to the week, Tim Pawlenty, it seems a lot of the good work he did with his roll out was undone by his second straight lackluster "debate" performance.

Yes, it's early and there maybe other chances for him to stand out but he clearly was not able to make himself "Plan B" for voters not sold on Mitt. In fact, he's getting passed by other candidates for that title. Not taking on Mitt directly Monday was a huge mistake. There aren't going to be that many chances for him to go toe-to-tow with Mitt in person and he let one pass.

For Pawlenty to win the nomination, he needs to be fighting with Romney, not with the rest of the field to see who gets to be the one to take on Mitt. If Rick Perry enters the race as expected, that's another candidate Pawlenty will have to deal with. He really needs to establish himself firmly as "the other guy" soon or the train may pass him by.

Meanwhile....Mitt just chugs along above it all.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:28 AM

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