Friday, July 22, 2011


... would give you a huge gender gap, even in the GOP:

As Texas Gov. Rick Perry comes closer and closer to jumping into the race for the White House, he's also close to the top of a new national survey in the battle for the GOP presidential nomination.

A CNN/ORC International Poll released Friday indicates that 14 percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP pick Perry as their first choice for their party's nomination, just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney....

The survey indicates that Perry's biggest supporters are men: He wins 20 percent among Republican men, compared to only eight percent among GOP women....

That's a gender gap of almost Christie-esque proportions (among voters overall in New Jersey, Chris Christie is +14 among men and -18 among women, according to Quinnipiac).

Perry, by the way, is also doing quite well in a new Fox poll:

Romney's support among GOP primary voters has dropped 6 percentage points in recent weeks, from 23 percent in early June to 17 percent in the new poll, which asked about announced and potential candidates.

Close behind Romney is undeclared candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry at 14 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann comes in at 10 percent....

I still worry that the most likely scenario for 2012 is a Perry/Bachmann/Cain split of the crazy-base vote, which gives Romney the nomination, after which the press paints him as a moderate even though (cf. Bush in 2000) he never really moderates his positions (and actually tacks further right, on issues like taxes and climate change, to fend off general-election defections to minor-party wingnuts). Then he wins, and he and a GOP House, Senate, and Supreme Court go Rick Scott/Scott Walker on the country, dismantling the twentieth century in their first six months.

But an actual Perry victory in the primaries could be a nice outcome. I think, merely on style, he's close to unelectable in America as a whole -- not because he's a Texas governor like Bush, or because he's a white Southerner running against a black guy, but because you need to at least fake a bit of Jimmy Stewart self-effacement to be elected president. Even W could do that. Even Bachmann and Palin can go into aw-shucks-I'm-just-a-mom mode, which is one female posture that's roughly analogous to Jimmy Stewart. But Perry's my-poop-doesn't-stink ego-trip act just won't cut it. And that -- not widespread disgust at Republican ideology -- is what might save us from the worst in 2012.

(Polls via Politico.)

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