The Washington Post and ABC News have released their latest GOP presidential poll (released 9/6/11). This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including 431 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents. These results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the full sample and five points for the Republican and GOP-leaning independents. The Washington Post’s Dan Baltz and Peyton M. Craighill provide the following insights:
Among all Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, Perry has edged ahead with 27?percent of the vote, followed by Romney with 22?percent, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin at 14?percent, Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) with 8?percent and Bachmann at 6?percent.
Were Palin to stay on the sidelines, the GOP race would stay essentially the same. Perry would hold a small lead over Romney, Paul would be a distant third, and the rest would follow.
Should the race winnow to Perry vs. Romney, the contest would squarely pit the GOP’s tea party and establishment wings against each other, with tea party Republicans coming off big wins in 2010.
On expectations in a race against Obama, 30?percent say Perry is the one with the best chance of winning the general election. Twenty percent said Romney, a drop of 12 points since mid-July.
Still, the top two Republican candidates are at rough parity in how they match up against Obama. Among registered voters, Romney edges the president, 49 to 45?percent. Perry is in a similarly competitive position, at 47?percent to Obama’s 46?percent.
On the question of who is most capable of dealing with the economy, the nation’s top issue, Perry and Romney are tied, meaning that the Texas governor has neutralized a key Romney calling card.