Rasmussen: Rick Perry Goes From First To Sixth In Iowa; Cain Goes...

Rasmussen: Rick Perry Goes From First To Sixth In Iowa; Cain Goes From Fifth To First


It’s amazing what a couple of mediocre debate performances can do to a guy. And I’m talking about both Perry and Cain.

From Rasmussen:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Iowa caucus-goers shows that Cain is in front with 28% followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 21%. Congressman Ron Paul is a distant third at 10% followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 9%, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann at 8%, and Texas Governor Rick Perry at 7%. The sixth place finish for Perry is a sharp decline from early September when Perry was the frontrunner both nationally and in Iowa. (To see survey question wording, click here).

The numbers from September’s Rasmussen poll? Perry 29%, Bachmann 18%, Romney 17%, Paul 14%, Rick Santorum 4%, Herman Cain 4%, Jon Huntsman 3%, Newt Gingrich 2%.

That’s right, Cain and Perry pretty much switched places.

Why? I have no idea. Well, accept that Cain won that Florida straw poll over Perry and made national headlines because the media didn’t think it was going to happen. Why? Because they weren’t paying attention? Or they just wanted to hammer Perry over his first debate performance? Who knows.

Either way, Herman Cain has been the benefactor of all of the negative Perry coverage…not Romney.

More as it develops…

  • cranky critter

    Cain sounds authentic and pragmatic and trustworthy to conservatives. That’s why he has risen. And he’s been bolstered by lick lack of interest in apologizing for saying things that have offended liberals who would never vote for him in a million years anyway. He gets that. I think he understands his audience better than his opponents.

    I heard several Ron Paul commercials that viciously attacked Rick Perry for his “liberal” position on immigration. Everyone else attacked him too. Perry’s problem is he didn’t handle the attacks with any measure of poise. Instead, he has stumbled several times.

    Cain has handled the attacks from his rise much more graciously. He has a core script that he has stuck to, and people like that. Perry didn’t have a script. He expected to win on his personality and on Texas’s jobs record. But he offers little beyond the usual talking point porridge. And on the rare occasion where he has an individual take based on his own experience (like immigration), he gets crucified because it diverges from the current conservative litany.

    IMO, this contest still boils down to Romney versus whoever can become the standard bearer for the more populist rank-and-file socons. Romney is currently coasting on the division of that part of the conservative electorate among 4 or 5 folks, like Bachman, Perry, Paul, Santorum, etc. I don’t think Gingrich is trying to do anything except direct party traffic. Paul, with his solid 10%, is the one who could hand the nomination to Romney. If the race narrows to 2 or 3 before Romney looks inevitable, we will see a clear schism among conservatives. The more northeast, industrialized, thickly settled states will prefer Romney. The bible belt will go to the anointed socon champ.

  • Tully

    I was trying to think of something less meaningful than the Iowa caucuses, and you found it. Polls of likely Iowa caucus-goers a few months out. The relative movement is interesting, though. Shows the flavor-of-the-moment changing with the breeze. In the August poll Bachman was the front-runner. In September, it was Perry. Now it’s Cain. Next month, who knows?

    I see Cain is now de-simplifying his “simple” 9-9-9 tax plan and blaming the confusion on people not reading the details close enough. Maybe if he’d bothered to actually release those pesky details, there would’ve been less confusion.

    If I had to assign betting odds right now on the eventual candidate, I’d put it down as 3/2 Romney, 6/1 Perry, 8/1 Cain. The rest of the field doesn’t come in under 20/1 at this point. If trends don’t change, in the coming months we will be regaled with the lamentations of the hard right as Romney gains steam despite being a squishy Mormon RINO.

  • Shane

    Well Tully, luckily you don’t haven to assign them. They’re already right here:


    We always love a good horse race…. which one is Secretariat again?

  • Tully

    They set their odds by the bets that have come in, through the paramuteul process. Which isn’t scientific or anything but does keep the wager books balancing. Thus the title of “bookmakers.”

    I of course set mine by the rigorously scientific process of throwing darts at a board. :-) OK, I also check the broader polling, the state polling and the persistence of the results, as well as the financial reports, with an eye towards both overall amounts raised and the breadth & depth of the donor base. Which this far before the elections is only slightly more accurate than dart-throwing.

    (Neat site with current odds from a dozen-plus bookies bookmarked for future reference…)

  • khaki

    @cc: “Cain sounds authentic and pragmatic and trustworthy to conservatives. That’s why he has risen.”

    Yes, but mostly because he’s doesn’t wear magic underwear.

  • http://www.jjraymond.com jjray

    One has to wonder whether there has been manipulation in the Rasmussen poll. This is an old issue with lots of history.

  • Tully

    Another attempt to shoot the messenger. What a crock. Before making allegations maybe you should try actually checking the available evidence, eh? And by “available evidence” I do not mean what your partisan Rice Krispies™ tell you.

    Media Matters and Democrats have been gunning for Rasmussen forever, yet Rasmussen remains one of the most accurate pollsters over the last few election cycles. They nailed 2004 and 2006, scored top of the heap in 2008. They stumbled in 2010 in overall polling while nailing some of the toughest-call races, but had lots of company and still managed to nail the winners better than the competition did despite a fairly lousy error rate in the numbers.

    That error rate was in large part due to Rasmussen’s concentration on key races in the last month, leaving their “latest” polling of non-tight races weeks or more out of date at election time. When races where the result was in no real doubt and the polling used to figure Rasmussen error rates were “stale” are removed, their error average unsurprisingly declines markedly. Rasmussen did lttle polling the last week or two before the elections in most state races where outcomes were already fairly certain, yet those stale results are compared to polls taken by other pollsters the day before those elections? Heh. Measure them against those same other pollsters for the same period, and the results are congruent.

    The big whine from Dems and the left about Rasmussen breaks down to two main things: One, Rasmussen polls likely voters instead of registered voters or the adult population at large. This tends to hurt Dem showings in the polling, and we all know that pols love to wave polls. As a result, Dem pols don’t get their best flags to wave from Rasmussen, and Dems resent that. Polls testing the broader audience of people who don’t vote that often produce better numbers for Dems. So Rasmussen does indeed tend to show slightly better numbers for Republicans in the run-up periods. As the elections come to the wire, almost all pollsters switch over from registered voters to likely voters, and that illusionary GOP Rasmussen edge vanishes.

    And two, Rasmussen uses a four-response question in approval polling instead of just approve/disapprove. This has led towards worse approval numbers for Obama (among others) in Rasmussen polls. When given a choice between Strongly/Somewhat approve/disapprove, the middle choices lead to lower approval numbers. This will happen regardless of the polling agency, and is simply the result of people having the “middle options” available for their answers. “Somewhat approve” and Somewhat disapprove” are malleable, and can and do swing more by current mood.

    As I’ve said so many hundreds of times before, polls this far out don’t mean much. In the case of this particular poll, Rasmussen falls squarely in line with all the other polling from other pollsters from the same time frame, AND they use a much larger sample. SO unless you want to advance the claim that all those other pollsters were diddling their polls in collusion with Rasmussen the allegation fails to hold any water on the evidence available.

    And if you do want to make that claim, I beg to mention that you must use at least seven layers of shielding to ensure optimal results from your home-made AFDB.

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    Someone once said:

    “I fully expect Perry to empty his revolver shooting himself in the foot, reload, and then empty it again shooting himself in the other foot.”

    Oh wait. That was me.

    One foot down. One foot to go.

  • khaki

    @mw: “One foot down. One foot to go.”

    Ha! Love it. I’ve wondered what Rove feared most about a Perry run for the nomination: that he would embarrass the GOP by doing exactly as you describe, or that he would win. I can’t believe Rove or anyone would think this guy could have gone the distance.

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw


    Just watched the “Perry Moment” on the CNBC debate.


    Even though I expected something like that, it was cringe-inducing.

    That’s a wrap. You can’t run a marathon on two stumps.


  • cranky critter

    Yup. So far, he’s even too dense to understand that he’s humiliated himself. He doesn’t even have a good enough grip and a passionate enough understanding of his alleged positions to be able to REMEMBER them.


  • khaki

    He’s probably somewhere clutching his syrup. Though his crumbling was almost certainly inevitable, I wonder how much it hurts the overall GOP brand. Silly candidates are bound to appear (Kucinich anyone), but the GOP flirts with their silly candidates for so long that it calls their collective judgement into question. Will moderates forget or even care once Romney gets the nod? Maybe not. Voters have short memories.

  • Tully

    The sillier candidates tend to get the crap kicked out of them on Super Tuesday, and usually have mediocre returns in the primaries before that. Huckabee, anyone? To get the nomination you need a big bankroll and impressive returns in the January primaries — which in turn gets you a bigger bankroll.

    [Note to Perry: Yes, Xanax does take care of those debate anxiety problems quite nicely. It does not, however, do much for quick-recall memory. Didn’t they tell you that when they gave you that little yellow pill?]

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    “I wonder how much it hurts the overall GOP brand.” – khaki

    I don’t know about the “brand” – too nebulous a concept for me, and it sounds a lot like wishful thinking on the part of partisan Dems. Dems do have an incredible capacity for self-delusion (America is now a center-left country, passing Obamacare will help the Democrats in 2010 midterms, demographic realignment means a permanent Dem majority, etc.)

    I do think this never-ending debate cycle has been and continues to be very helpful to the GOP cause. First, it flushes the flakes in pretty short order. They either don’t play or get exposed early (Palin, Trump, Bachman, Perry, Cain).

    Second, it makes the eventual nominee a much better campaigner, and to a certain extent inoculates them against a lot of spurious issues. By the time they come up in the general election, they’re old news and voters don’t care.

    Romney, Gingrich, even Huntsman and Bachman have all upped their game and are much better campaigners and debaters than they were even a few months ago.

    Romney in particular is head and shoulders better than he was in 2008.

    I’ve no doubt that Obama is president today because he had to go through the knock-down drag-out battle with Hillary right up to the convention. It made Obama a far better candidate and got a lot of potentially fatal issues (Reverend Wright) out in the press well before the general election.

  • khaki

    mw – I agree with your broader point that competitive primaries improve candidates, although I think in this case the primary scuffle is driving the candidates so far the right that they are certainly causing themselves problems in the general. Plus you have to admit that incumbents benefit from not having to go through it. So, I’ll only partially agree with you.

    Your dig at Dems, though, seems ill timed considering the thumping so many GOP initiatives recently took as a result of GOP overreach. And who thought passing Health Care reform would help the Dems in the midterms?? Obama had to do a helluva lot of arm twisting to get it passed. Dems were scared &^%$less of it for good reason – because they know Americans don’t like taking their medicine. Also, wasn’t it Karl Rove who coined the “permanent majority”? Maybe it’s not Dems but partisans in general who are prone to self delusion.

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    “…who thought passing Health Care reform would help the Dems in the midterms?

    Well… Axelrod did. Obama did. , and I could find a lot more but I don’t want to trigger the spam filter. A lot of commenters on this blog were also making that claim. Even an unnamed blogger.

    As I recall this was pretty much conventional wisdom among Dems at the time. The argument usually cast the situation in comparison to the ’94 midterms for Bill Clinton – laying blame for the Dems losing their majority on the failure to pass Hillarycare. It was a nonsensical comparison, but I heard it repeated often.

    “Maybe it’s not Dems but partisans in general who are prone to self delusion.”

    Oh, I agree completely, particularly true when one party has all the keys to the castle. I said exactly that at the end of the post I linked in my previous comment:

    “Republicans are certainly not immune to delusions, but it does seem that One Party Rule is a requisite to achieve truly breathtaking disconnects from reality (Recall Tom Delay, Karl Rove, the “durable” 30-40 year Republican majority and Republicans keeping the House majority in 2006). Help keep our politicians and pundits sane. Vote for Divided Government.”

  • khaki

    mw: “Well… Axelrod did. Obama did. , and I could find a lot more but I don’t want to trigger the spam filter. ”

    Well, these are good examples of delusion. I suppose the partisans were putting a smiley face on it. But I don’t believe anyone really thought it would actually help. And if they did, oy. Healthcare reform or no, everyone should have known we were headed toward a realignment regardless. 2008 was a surge year. The waters were headed back anyway, and certainly the Obama team knew it – hence the push to get-er done prior, and the disingenuous assurances to Congressional Dems. They had to to get it passed.

    Back to the point: One could just as easily accuse the right of delusion by thinking that they are in such a strong position (with Obama weakened by the economy and the unpopularity of Health Care Reform) that they can afford to steer the party so far the right as they are. I think 2012 is their’s to lose, and by god they’re doing their best. It’s not because the GOP is unlucky and has no good candidates in the bullpen – they’ve chased all the electable ones away. So when we joke about Perry shooting himself in both feet; it looks to me like it’s the party doing shooting and reloading for putting him there in the first place.

  • cranky critter

    Once you’ve carefully watched several elections from beginning to end, you know that what has gone on so far in the GOP contest is the early stuff. The primaries always push contestants towards their fringe. But in this case there is a very good chance that this phase will be almost over by the end of March.

    As you say khaki, voters have short memories. If Romney were to be strongly contested in the actual primaries throughout the spring, he’d have to move harder to the right. And that would hurt him in the general election.

    But if he’s GTG by the end of March, he can start running directly against Obama right away.

    Under all but the rarest of circumstances, I think the Presidency is the incumbent’s to lose. When the race winnows down to the final, the GOP is going to begin to have a much much harder time claiming our current troubles are all the President’s fault. It has been such a hard and painful fall that I think the public has a fairly seared memory of what precipitated this and who was in charge.

    i can’t remember a point in my lifetime whe the public was as convinced of the ineptitude of BOTH parties at the same time.