All the media hoopla surrounding Rick Perry’s late entry into the presidential race seems to be working for the Republican Texas governor. His name recognition has risen 13 percent in two weeks, with 67 percent of Republicans and voters who lean Republican now knowing his name, according to a Gallup Poll
That’s just some of the good news today for Perry, who also received plaudits:
- From the anti-tax, pro-free markets Club for Growth, which put out a white paper giving him qualified praise for his economic performance during his 10 years as governor of the Lone Star state.
- From the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), which ranks him first among those likely to attend the Iowa caucuses.
Although Gallup found Perry’s recognition increasing, the poll also found that two potential candidates fare much better: Sarah Palin, at 97 percent, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, at 91 percent.
Among the declared candidates, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann are best known. Bachmann’s name recognition shot up 5 percentage points after she won the Iowa Straw Poll on Aug. 13.
Perry’s big advantage in the Aug. 18-21 poll among about 1,400 Republicans and Republican-learning independents is his Positive Intensity Score — a measure of how favorably Republicans who are familiar with him view him. Perry’s Positive Intensity score is 22, compared with 23 two weeks ago.
That’s higher than any other GOP hopeful, with the exception of businessman Herman Cain, who rates a 28. However, Cain had just 47 percent name recognition, suggesting he’s still got a lot of work to do just to get his name out there.
“Perry is off to a good start as a now-official candidate, seeing his familiarity among Republicans increase significantly in the last two weeks while maintaining a high Positive Intensity Score. The challenge for him is to keep that score up, now that he is actively campaigning,” wrote Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones.
Regarding Perry’s boost from the Club for Growth, the group’s white paper www.clubforgrowth.org/whitepapers/?subsec=137&id=953 noted that he inherited a favorable tax and regulatory climate from his predecessor George W. Bush and has benefited from conservative Republican majorities in the state’s Legislature.
“So the bar for judging Perry’s performance should be set high,” the paper says. “It is quite clear that Perry did not move his state in reverse, or on the wrong course. In many instances, he merely maintained a positive status quo. In others, such as tort reform and regulations, he improved the Texas economic climate.”
But club tempers its praise. “His support for taxpayer-subsidized funds to lure jobs away from other states shows he has at times an interventionist streak rather than consistent free-market principles. His semi-apology for the big government interventions of President Bush suggests a similar inclination.”
Perry will “quite likely move the country in a much more pro-growth direction” should he become president, the paper states. “However, given some actions in his record, it is questionable whether Perry will maintain his steadfast fiscal approach when faced with a less favorably inclined legislature than he is accustomed to.”
And, in the PPP survey www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_IA_0823424.pdf taken Friday through Sunday, indicates Perry has 22 percent support from those likely to attend the Iowa caucuses. But the next two finishers placed within the 5.5 percentage-point margin of error for the survey.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received 19 percent support, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann 18 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was close behind at 16 percent, followed by businessman Herman Cain at 7 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 5 percent, and former Utah Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 3 percent.
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