Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Popularity Dropping For Top GOP Candidates

I 've posted recently about how there is still no favorite among the potential Republican candidates for president in 2012. The top candidates are still hanging around 20% -- a long way from being a real favorite. The nomination is still wide open.

But it turns out that it's even worse than that. Not only are none of the candidates really exciting Republicans, but the top four candidates are actually dropping in favorability among the general population. And that's not good for Republican hopes of upsetting President Obama next year.

Public Policy polling, one of the more respected polling organizations did a recent survey and that survey shows that the top four candidates have actually dropped in favorability since April of 2009. Here is how they stack up.

April 2009 -- favorable 40%/unfavorable 35% (+5)
March 2011 -- favorable 32%/unfavorable 44% (-12)
A drop of 17 points in the last two years
Dropped 18 points with Republicans & 9 points with Independents

April 2009 -- favorable 42%/unfavorable 34% (+8)
March 2011 -- favorable 35%/unfavorable 42% (-7)
A drop of 15 points in the last two years
Dropped 7 points with Republicans & 19 points with Independents

April 2009 -- favorable 42%/unfavorable 49% (-7)
March 2011 -- favorable 35%/unfavorable 57% (-22)
A drop of 15 points in the last two years
Dropped 18 points with Republicans & 19 points with Independents

April 2009 -- favorable 36%/unfavorable 44% (-8)
March 2011 -- favorable 26%/unfavorable 57% (-31)
A drop of 23 points in the last two years
Dropped 25 points with Republicans & 33 points with Independents

The fact that the top four candidates are all dropping in popularity, both with Republicans and Independents, shows that not only is the race still wide open but there is room for new candidates to enter the fray. It looks like the voters are still waiting for someone that really excites them.

The problem so far is that none of the others so far can even equal these four. Candidates like Pawlenty, Santorum, Huntsman and Cain are not recognizable to most voters and have been unable to get more than 2-3% support. It looks like Michele Bachmann is going to toss her hat in the ring, but that doesn't excite anyone but the teabaggers (since it is unlikely she could get much support from the general population).

There's still a few months before things really get serious in the presidential contest, but a candidate would need to start raising money soon to be ready for the primary campaign. And so far, there's no real excitement for the current options (especially outside the Republican Party -- and if you can't bring in Independents, you can't win).


  1. Up until the past week or so, I did not think much about the fact that the GOP did not have anybody viable in the field.

    But it is now Spring 2011 and the fundraising pretty much has to get revved up in the near future.

    Obama might be losing in the polls to an unnamed Republican Presidential candidate, but an unnamed candidate doesn't have these folks' major flaws.

    Flaws tend to look WORSE once races start, too, so these guys' approval ratings are going nowhere but down.

    Obama is beatable, but... To Huckabee?

    My prediction: Jeb Bush. Because a third President Bush would officially make my head explode...

  2. Ironically, Jeb Bush's biggest liability is his last name.

    He was very popular in Florida (the first Republican governor ever to be re-elected in that state), has close ties to the Hispanic community (he met his wife while teaching in Mexico, and he speaks fluent Spanish), and doesn't seem to have any personal or political baggage, especially compared to other potential candidates. And of all the Bush brothers, he seems to be far and away the smartest.

    If his name was Jeb Smith, he'd be a shoo-in for the nomination. But just as this country is suffering from Kennedy fatigue, I'm afraid the third won't be the charm for the Bush clan.

    And of course we wouldn't want your head to explode, KatyDid!

  3. oh look, the emperor has no clothes.


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