Q-poll puts Perry ahead by 6 over Romney, 14 over Bachmann

We’ve had the media polls and Zogby tell us that Rick Perry has become the frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary polling at the moment.  Now we can add an academic poll as well.  Quinnipiac’s latest survey, released this morning, shows the Texas governor with an six-point lead over Mitt Romney, and 14 points over Michele Bachmann:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has zoomed to the front of the line of GOP presidential candidates with a 24 – 18 percent lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Republican voters, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Romney and President Barack Obama are in a dead heat while Perry trails the president by 3 points in 2012 matchups.

The timing seems propitious, as voters have tired of Barack Obama as President:

The percentage of all registered voters who say President Obama deserves a second term in the Oval Office has fallen to a negative 42 – 51 percent, matching a 41 – 50 percent all-time low reading on whether he deserves another four years in office from a March 30 survey.

Quinnipiac polled for Palin in the race; she gets 11% of respondents, just one percentage point ahead of Bachmann and 13 behind Perry.  Interestingly, no one benefits if Palin decides not to run.  The three frontrunners in the race now would all add two points to their current position.

The internals of the polls favor Perry over almost all comers as well.  He wins almost all of the demographic categories — men, women, military households — except for 18-34YO voters, which Palin wins by a single point (18%) over Romney, Perry, and Ron Paul (17%).  Although Palin will join a Tea Party tour next week, Perry wins almost a third of self-described Tea Party “members” (32%).  Bachmann comes in a distant second at 15%, Romney third at 12%, and Palin fourth at 11%.

In head-to-head matchups with Obama, Romney and Perry perform similarly.  Romney has a 45/45 tie, while Perry has a 42/45 virtual tie within the margin of error.  Romney is more well known, however, as 55% of the survey respondents don’t know enough about Perry to form an opinion of him.  Among Republicans, Perry has a high favorability rating of 44/5 (it’s 22/23 among the general population), compared to Romney’s 36/27 among Republicans.  In order to regain the momentum, Romney will have to go after Perry in the debates, shedding his above-the-fray persona, in order to dent that favorability advantage Perry has at the moment.