Texas Gov. and presidential candidate Rick Perry’s comments on Social Security, which include calling it a “Ponzi scheme,” appear to be a non-issue for most Republicans. However, they could cost him support with independents should he ultimately win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. As many Republicans say they are more likely to vote for Perry for president because of his views on Social Security as say they are less likely — 19% each. Among independents, 12% are more likely to vote for him and 32% less likely…

In fact, Perry’s statements on Social Security are more likely to harm his campaign indirectly by weakening his perceived viability than they are to turn off Republicans who disagree with his views. In contrast to the 19% of Republicans who say they would personally be less likely to support Perry over his Social Security views, 37% believe those views would hurt his chances of being elected president if he were the GOP nominee. Just 17% say they will help his chances.