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:
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.