NEW POLL BOOSTS ROMNEY – AT 10:23 P.M. ET: As we reported earlier, the general consensus is that Rick Perry had a less-than-stellar night in Tampa last night, and that the attacks on him are beginning to take their toll. A new Gallup survey tends to confirm that impression. From Andrew Malcom at the L.A. Times's Top of the Ticket blog:
Rick Perry, the Texas governor who strode on stage so confidently to announce his candidacy 31 days ago, still holds the numerical lead over former Gov. Mitt Romney, who hasn't not been running for years.
What the Gallup organization calls the Positive Intensity Score shows Perry holding strong at 24. However, for the first time since Perry surged to the front of the GOP field, Romney's score has increased significantly.
In a new rating just released Gallup shows that now with a month to compare the two men, Romney's score has surged from 11 just two weeks ago to 16 now.
At the same time the scores for two GOP women have faded. With Perry in the race Michele Bachmann's score has dropped from 13 to 10. And the train appears to be leaving the station for Sarah Palin's hypothetical candiacy; her score plunged from 16 to 10. The 10 for both women are new lows for 2011.
Gallup's Positive Intensity Scores are devised by subtracting the percentage of Republicans with highly unfavorable views of each candidate from the percentage with highly favorable views among those who know the candidate.
Perry's first debate performance at the Reagan Library last week was workmanlike. He held his own standing next to the ever-polite, ever-attentive Romney. no big Perry mistakes.
Monday night's CNN/Tea Party Express debate was a different affair with six of the other seven candidates attacking Perry somehow. Newt Gingrich has reserved virtually all of his ammo for President Obama -- and the media.
COMMENT: The word from the Romney camp today is that he will stay on the offensive. While Romney did not score any knockout punches Monday night, he did get in some solid jabs. Enough of those, and Perry can lose on points.
At the same time, Perry has a sharp political team and he's known as an astute campaigner. I suspect they're working on improving Perry's performance right now. He has much going for him, including an image of strength and a set of passionate beliefs. Americans, historically, have tended to admire candidates with strong, clear beliefs, even if they didn't always agree with those beliefs.
We'll be looking for Perry 2.1 pretty soon.
September 13, 2011