ORC for CNN (PDF). 9/9-11. Republicans. MoE ±4.5% (8/24-25):

Rick Perry: 32 (32)
Mitt Romney: 21 (18)
Ron Paul: 13 (6)
Michele Bachmann: 7 (12)
Newt Gingrich: 7 (7)
Herman Cain: 6 (3)
Jon Huntsman: 2 (1)
Rick Santorum: 2 (1)
Someone else (vol.): 2 (4)
None/ No one (vol.): 4 (6)
No opinion: 3 (4)

I guess Mitt Romney is discovering Rick Perry didn't lose the campaign after all when he said Social Security was a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme." In fact, if anybody's losing, it's Mitt. Check out the trend lines between Romney and Perry:

CNN Poll
So after Romney landed the "knockout" blow during last week's debate ... nothing. And it's not too complicated to understand why it hasn't hurt Perry: while he may be out of step with most Americans when it comes to Social Security and Medicare, when it comes to Republicans, Rick Perry is right in the mainstream. Mitt Romney isn't, and his attacks on Perry will seem increasingly desperate to Republican primary voters.

Romney's trying to make the case that the problem with Perry's Social Security stance is that it makes him unelectable, but even that isn't working: 42% say RomneyPerry is the most electable Republican candidate, compared with 26% for Romney.

It'll be interesting to see how Romney handles the issue in tonight's debate on CNN. Perhaps he'll be the one on the defensive. The debate begins at 8 PM ET and we'll be blogging it live right here on Daily Kos.

A few other things to note: This is a national poll, yet there is no national primary. So it doesn't take the primary calendar into account. A candidate like Bachmann is betting it all on Iowa; if she were to win Iowa, she'd probably jump back into contention.

CNN also tested a hypothetical slate including Sarah Palin. Romney and Perry stayed at about the same level, but Palin moved into third with 15 percent, bumping Bachmann down to 4 percent. Palin probably isn't running, but if she were to run, she'd reconfigure the race for third place.

Finally, take a look at Jon Huntsman's numbers. On the up side, he doubled his support. And the down side, he went from 1 percent to 2 percent. He has never in any poll demonstrated anything approaching a meaningful base of support, and he doesn't have a credible path to winning any of the early states, yet he gets more coverage than just about any other candidate in the bottom tier. It makes zero sense.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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