Early post-debate polling: leaders lose ground
Sun January 17, 2010 9:40 pm

This report comes from a polling firm that did a post-debate survey of Republican primary voters. I am authorized to publish these numbers. I have no further information to provide other than what I am publishing here.

--Perry and Hutchison lost support as a result of the debate. Perry fell into the high thirties, Hutchison into the high twenties.

--This lost support went to undecideds, which are now close to 20%, and to Medina, who is in the low teens. Medina is hurting Perry among men and Hutchison among women.

--Medina's positive name ID is up to 30%, her negative name ID is at 20%

--Perry name ID is 55% positive, 45% negative
--Hutchison's name ID is 55% positive, 39% negative

These numbers seem very plausible to me. I would have been very surprised if Medina's numbers had not gone up. A credible case can be made that she won the debate. The Dallas Morning News ought to reconsider whether she belongs in the January 29 debate. They are going to look mighty silly if Medina is sitting home with 15 to 20 points in the polls. (The paper's threshold for qualifying for inclusion in the debate is 15%.) I think Hutchison is in more danger from Medina than Perry is. Medina is younger and fresher than Hutchison. She has a little of Sarah Palin in her, an element of sincerity with considerably more intelligence. If she can raise money from Ron Paul's mailing list, she might be able to make a move.

Assuming that these numbers hold up over the next few weeks, the Republican primary race appears to be headed toward a runoff. This is very dangerous territory for an incumbent.

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