A CBS News/New York Times poll taken from September 10th-15th (both before and after the most recent debate) shows Rick Perry with a 7-point edge (23 to 16 percent) over Mitt Romney among registered voters who intend to vote in a Republican primary or caucus. Newt Gingrich has moved into a tie with Michele Bachmann for third place, with 7 percent apiece, followed by Herman Cain and Ron Paul at 5 percent apiece. Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman are each at 1 percent.
The poll’s release reads: “Six in 10 Perry and Romney supporters say they have reservations about their candidate. And Romney’s support is somewhat weaker than Perry’s — just 25% of Romney’s supporters strongly favor him, compared to 33% of Perry’s.”
Among the roughly half (49 percent) of Republican primary voters “who support the Tea Party movement,” Perry has by far the highest net favorability rating (+53 percent), followed by Cain (+35), Bachmann (+33), Romney (+23) Gingrich (+19), and Santorum (+10), while Paul and Huntsman are both underwater (by double-digits). (Of note, Sarah Palin’s net favorability rating is only +12 percent among Tea Party-supporting Republicans.)
Republican primary voters are evenly divided (48 percent apiece) between those who care more about whether a candidate agrees with them on the issues, and those who care more about whether a candidate can beat President Obama.