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Pollsters Ignoring Rick Perry's 2016 'Campaign'

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Only two of 13 GOP 2016 primary polls conducted since April have included the Texas governor's name

rickperry10.jpgRick Perry continues to make headlines for what is ostensibly a long-term, packaged roll-out for another run at the White House in 2016.

But if Governor Perry once again fancies himself a presidential candidate, the nation's pollsters are not convinced.

A Smart Politics review of 2013 polling data finds that Rick Perry ranks as just the 11th most listed Republican candidate in horse race polling questions of the GOP presidential primary field for the 2016 cycle.

(Note: Data from 17 polls were compiled across seven survey organizations: CNN, Farleigh Dickinson, Marist, Reuters, PPP, Quinnipiac, and Rasmussen).

The names of only three Republicans have been given as a choice to survey respondents in each of these polls: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

Perry's name, meanwhile, has appeared in only five polls all year and in just two of the last 13 since April.

And while the media may not feel Governor Perry is a viable candidate, given his 2012 campaign debacle, his decision not to run for a fourth term in Texas in early July was largely seen as a marker for launching another presidential bid in 2016.

But the pollsters have not responded in kind.

Only two of nine polls released by five different survey organizations since then have included Perry's name in GOP primary questions (Marist's July poll and CNN's November survey).

Public Policy Polling included Perry's name in its first three surveys of the year, but in none of the last four since.

The most frequently named 2016 Republican candidates offered to respondents in survey questions after Christie, Bush, and Rubio are Wisconsin U.S. Representative Paul Ryan and Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul - each appearing in 15 polls, or 88 percent of horse race surveys.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is next with 12, followed by Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz with 10, 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum with nine, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez with six, and Perry in 11th with five.

The only Republicans presented as a 2016 option less frequently to respondents were 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee with two, and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with one.

Tea Party friendly U.S. Senators Paul and Cruz have been getting the attention of pollsters over the last seven-plus months.

Cruz's name was not included in any of the first six surveys conducted between January and April, but has been listed in 10 of 11 since (in all but Rasmussen's August poll).

Paul's name, meanwhile, was omitted as a choice for survey respondents in two of the half-dozen surveys conducted during the first four months of the year (by Reuters in March and Farleigh Dickinson in April), but has been included in every survey since.

Governor Christie has led in eight of the last 11 GOP horse race surveys of 2013 with Paul leading in two and Cruz in one.

Senator Rubio led in six of the first seven polls conducted this year, sandwiched around one survey in which Representative Ryan was on top.

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1 Comment


  • The Regressive Party Presidential candidates Clown Car is starting to fill up. None of these clowns could be/should be considered Presidential Timber. Paul Ryan? Rand Paul? Ted Cruz? Rick Perry? Frothy Santorum? These are the best and brightest the Regressive Party has to offer? What a joke. Hilary in 2016 and 2020!

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    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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