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Monday, September 12, 2011

CNN Poll: Republicans Believe Perry Has Best Chance To Beat Obama

Rick Perry news this morning comes by way of a new CNN poll which shows that Republicans think Governor Rick Perry has the best chance to beat Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election with a double digit lead on all other GOP candidates.

Other findings:

"Perry doesn't simply have the most support in a hypothetical ballot - he also tops the list of GOP candidates on every personal quality tested," adds Holland.

Thirty-six percent, for example, see him as the strongest leader in the field, with Romney second at 21 percent. According to the poll, 35 percent say Perry is the Republican candidate most likely to get the economy moving again, with Romney in second at 26 percent.

Nearly three in ten say that Perry is the candidate who is most likely to fight for his beliefs, with Palin in second place at 23 percent and, significantly, Romney in a distant tie for fourth at just 11 percent.

But Perry's biggest strength may be the electability factor, with 42 percent saying he has the best chance of beating Obama next year. Some 26 percent say Romney has the best chance of defeating the president.

"That may go a very long way toward explaining his rise in the polls, since three-quarters of all Republicans say they would prefer a candidate who can beat President Obama over one who agrees with them on major issues," says Holland.

Concerning for Perry, is likability factor where one in four rate him well, especially if he does end up winning the GOP nomination.

While Barack Obama receives high disapproval ratings on all key issues , his personal likability still rates well.

Voters like the man, they just think he is doing a bad job as President.

If Obama and Perry go head to head in 2012, voters would have to decide if they prefer someone that can get the job done or someone they like but has proven he cannot do the job.

Perry, via USA Today, has a piece where he explains the truth behind his Social Security messaging:

These are the hard facts: Social Security's unfunded liability is calculated in the trillions of dollars. Last year, annual Social Security outlays exceeded annual revenues for the first time since 1983. The Congressional Budget Office projects that outlays will be roughly 5% greater than revenues over the next five years, worsening as more and more Baby Boomers retire.

By 2037, retirees will only get roughly 76 cents back for every dollar that is put into Social Security unless reforms are implemented. Imagine how long a traditional retirement or investment plan could survive if it projected investors would lose 24% of their money?

I am going to be honest with the American people. Our elected leaders must have the strength to speak frankly about entitlement reform if we are to right our nation's financial course and get the USA working again.

This is a hard topic for any candidate because as soon as they address Social Security reform, their opponents, whether they are GOP rivals or opposing party rivals instantly start screaming "he hates old people" or "he wants to kill grandma".

Perry's honesty may be paying off though in his refusal to back down on the topic as Campaign 2012 points out, the CNN poll shows a high level of support for Perry from GOP voters age 65 and older.

In a new CNN poll that finds Perry at the front of the Republican pack, the Texas governor's lead among GOP voters age 65 and older is actually bigger than his lead among younger voters. Fifty-two percent of respondents over 65 say Perry is their choice for president, versus just 21 percent who choose Romney. In the overall numbers, Perry leads Romney 32 percent to 21 percent, with Ron Paul following at 13 percent, Bachmann and Gingrich at seven percent each, Herman Cain at six percent, and Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum at two percent each.

Republican voters over 65 also believe Perry has the best chance of defeating President Obama in next year's general election. Perry leads Romney 58 percent to 22 percent among older voters on that question.

Breaking down the age results in different categories, Perry leads Romney by 24 percent to 19 percent among GOP voters under 50. Among GOP voters 50 and older, Perry leads Romney by 41 percent to 22 percent

Stanley Kurtz from NRO gives a brief history of the Social Security/Ponzi-scheme analogy and provides examples of "quite a few very respectable liberals" having made the same analogy in recent history that Liberals are prepared to blast Perry for making now.

Quick Reminder: On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Full CNN Poll results (pdf)