Rick Perry continues to lead the field in two, new surveys: A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and a Politico/George Washington survey.
1. Rick Perry 38%
2. Mitt Romney 23%
3. Ron Paul 9%
4. Michele Bachmann 8%
5. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain 5%
7. Rick Santorum 3%
8. Jon Huntsman 2%
In a general election:
a. Barack Obama 46% Rick Perry 45%
b. Barack Obama 46% Mitt Romney 45%
Meanwhile, a new Politico/George Washington poll shows Perry with an even bigger lead over Romney.
1. Rick Perry 36%
2. Mitt Romney 17%
3. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul 10%
5. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum 5%
7. Herman Cain 4%
8. Jon Huntsman 1%
Favorable ratings (with ALL voters):
a. Mitt Romney 39%/34% for +5%.
b. Rick Perry 31%/28% for +3%.
c. Ron Paul 31%/32% for -1%.
d. Michele Bachmann 26%/43% for -17%.
e. Sarah Palin 30%/61% for -31%.
The favorable numbers show exactly why Palin and Bachmann are often considered unelectable in a general.
Romney's number is +36% higher than Palin's and +20% better than Bachmann's.
As for Perry, his numbers are essentially as good as Romney's, which shows that attempts to brand him as extreme aren't working right now. The alternative explanation is that only political junkies are really tuned into him and that he's inspiring predictable, partisan division that's more of a function of ideology than candidate.
Finally, check out Palin. 91% have an opinion of her (by far the highest) with -31% not liking her (by far the worst ratio). It looks like it will take a cross between David Blaine and Doug Flutie to turn things around for her.