By Gary P Jackson
In the latest Economist/YouGov polling Governor Sarah Palin finds herself in a dead heat with Texas Governor Rick Perry, and liberal Governor Mitt Romney. This polling falls in line with others that tell us the Republican field isn't set and Sarah Palin, who hasn't declared or done any campaigning of any kind, is already well positioned to become the Republican nominee for President.
This also tells us the American people prefer a Governor, someone with solid chief executive experience, as President, rather than someone from Congress with no experience in leadership or running a government.
In raw numbers, Mitt Romney places first with 14% of the vote, Sarah comes in second with 13% and Rick Perry third with 12%. A statistical tie.
This poll should really worry Romney more than anyone though. The polling firm breaks down votes from Tea Party members and non-Tea Party members.
Now Romney crushes all comers among non-Tea Party members with 18% of the vote, tying him with "No preference." Everyone else is in single digits. However, Romney is crushed among Tea Party voters by Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and even Michele Bachmann, all of whom have strong double digit support.
Romney only garners 7% support from the Tea Party. This is bad for Mitt because the Tea Party, though filled with independents, and even democrats, is the base of the Republican Party. If you can't even come close to winning the Republican base in the primaries, you will never be the nominee. We predict Romney will do far worse in 2012 than he did in 2008, which wasn't good at all. The next election is about turning the nation away from liberalism, and a liberal Republican like Romney isn't going to cut it.
The pollster offers this:
More than half of Republicans are enthusiastic about at least one of the candidates, though there is a chasm in enthusiasm between Republicans who identify with the Tea Party (76% of whom are enthusiastic) and those who do not (39% of them are enthusiastic). And a third of Republicans (compared with not quite a quarter of the nation overall) are following the campaign very closely.
Among the Tea Partiers — 36% of all Republicans — Perry, Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain and Palin all score in the high double digits. Romney trails. But Romney leads among non-Tea Partying Republicans, who make up 64% of the party.
We both agree and disagree with this statement. We agree the Tea Party Republicans are more enthusiastic than non-members, mainly because Tea Party people are already incredibly engaged in the process, where as the general public is paying little, or no attention at all, at this point in time.
This, by the way, is why it's way too early for anyone to have even announced their candidacy, as only hard core politicos are paying a lot of attention.
While the numbers found in this poll, Tea Party vs non-Tea Party members in the Republican Party, may be correct, the base of the GOP, even those who don't self identify as Tea Party people, definitely agree with the philosophy and values of the Tea Party, and will not vote for someone who doesn't fit that criteria.
Our prediction on Romney stands, for a whole lot of reasons, besides the fact that the base of the party can't stand him.
For full results, click here.
You may also want to read: Sarah Palin Keeps Her 9 Month Long Hot Air Straw Poll Crush-a-Thon Streak Intact