In conducting a nationwide poll for McClatchy Newspapers, Marist College (NY) found, rather extraordinarily, that three of their top four Republican nomination ballot test finishers are not even official candidates. The poll, conducted over the June 15-23 period of 1,003 adults (801 registered voters; 308 self-identified Republicans or Republican-leaning Independents), placed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in first position with 19 percent – yet another national survey where the ostensible front-runner doesn’t top 20 percent – while former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Texas Gov. Rick Perry follow with 13 percent apiece. Former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin finishes fourth with 11 percent and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN-6) is next with 8 percent. All other candidates are in mid to low single digits.
Neither Giuliani, Perry, nor Palin are announced candidates. It is believed that the former mayor will enter the race, probably after the September 11 10-year anniversary memorials are concluded. Signs are pointing to Gov. Perry also becoming a candidate, but not for several more weeks. Question marks continue to surround Ms. Palin’s plans, though there is no evidence that she is taking tangible steps toward building a campaign operation.
The fact that no active candidate other than Mr. Romney cracks the top four suggests dissatisfaction with the current field of candidates, as evidenced by the non-candidates doing so well. Expect the GOP field to change significantly during the latter half of this year.
For further detailed insights, to sign up for my daily email updates, or to sign up to track specific issues or industries, please contact me at PRIsm@performanceandresults.com