Yet another poll shows GOP presidential hopeful and Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann surging in popularity. Bachmann’s support surged from 6 percent in early June to 14 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. She still trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 25 to 14, but she’s the only candidate to have seen gains from June to July.
All other candidates either stayed the same or dropped a few points. Palin is down from 15 percent, Newt Gingrich has dropped to 5 percent from 8 percent, and Tim Pawlenty saw a slight drop off from 5 percent to 3 percent. Herman Cain and Rick Santorum each dropped three percentage points.
“The question about Rep. Bachmann is whether she is the flavor of the month, like Donald Trump was for a while, or does she have staying power?” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Perhaps more than any of the other GOP contenders, Bachmann’s fortunes may depend on whether Governors Palin or Perry get into the race. All three of them are likely to appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party constituency.”
Quinnipiac researchers included Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the poll for the first time and he debuted strongly at 10 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin polled at 12 percent.
But none of the GOP candidates polled ahead of Obama.
President Barack Obama tops all leading GOP White House hopefuls, hitting the all-important 50-percent mark against every candidate but Romney:
- 47 – 41 percent over Romney, unchanged from June 8;
- 50 – 38 percent over Bachmann, who was not matched against Obama June 8;
- 53 – 34 percent over Sarah Palin, compared to 53 – 36 percent June 8;
- 50 – 37 percent over Perry, who was not matched against Obama June 8
But Americans are divided — 47-47 — on whether Obama should be reelected. The pollsters suggest gender will play a significant role in the elections: Obama has a notable edge with women. Similarly, the GOP has an edge with men — but the margin is smaller.
In the November matchups, Obama’s margin over the Republican hopefuls stems from his huge margins among women voters that swamp the GOP candidates’ small edge with men. For instance, matched against Romney, the president carries women 50 – 39 percent, but loses men by only 45 – 44 percent.
No part of the poll comes as a surprise, really. Bachmann has lately been leading in the Iowa polls and her online presence, as measured by PeekYou, has grown substantially, too, thanks to increased media attention. Palin and Perry also continue to gin up media speculation and look increasingly likely to join the race. If anything, the biggest surprise is how steady Romney’s polling continues to be, especially considering just how quiet he’s been about the debt limit debate.