Polling in presidential races this early tends to have the Flavor of the Week feel – the candidate with the most favorable publicity tends to take the lead. Rick Perry has been trailing in these polls, but a new one has some data that might give the former Texas governor hope that his “Ooops” moment from 2011 is not haunting him.
Although the survey of Republican voters by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling puts Perry into the also-ran category, the poll also suggests that Perry may get a second chance to make a first impression. Among the Republicans surveyed, 43 percent held a positive opinion of Perry, while just 18 percent had an unfavorable view. Another 40 percent said they are not sure they have an opinion of Perry. That’s the crowd he can still win over, and the ones that his opponents have to remind of his missteps in the last presidential race.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is in a similar boat, with 45 percent holding a positive view of him, with 16 percent having an unfavorable view and 40 percent not having an opinion. Cruz just doesn’t carry the baggage of a failed presidential bid.
The candidate making the worst impression on Republican voters is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is viewed positively by 28 percent of those surveyed and negatively by 45 percent. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is still right side up, but he has a 40 percent positive to a 29 percent negative. Overall, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee did the best with a 56 percent favorable and a 19 percent unfavorable rating, followed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 51 percent favorable to 10 percent negative.
For the Flavor of the Week, horse race numbers, Walker led at 25 percent support, followed by Ben Carson at 18 percent, Jeb Bush at 17 percent, and Huckabee at 10 percent. Everyone else was in the also-ran category at the moment. The full PPP survey is here.
Oh, and one reminder, PPP is the firm that early on put U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison far away of Perry in the GOP primary when he was running for re-election in 2010. A year later, he defeated her.