— toddcstacy (@toddcstacy) December 20, 2011
Alabama has largely followed national trends throughout the presidential race to this point. Texas Governor Rick Perry jumped out to a fast start in Alabama, winning the ALGOP Presidential Straw Poll after speaking at the annual ALGOP dinner.
As Perry’s support declined, Herman Cain rose and made two stops in Alabama, including a win at the West Alabama Straw Poll, before seeing his support erode in the wake of multiple sexual harassment and marital infidelity accusations. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been riding a new wave of support since Cain dropped out of the race but now finds himself in a dead heat nationally with former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney.
Both Romney and Gingrich have built solid organizations in Alabama. Governor Romney’s Alabama campaign is being co-chaired by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey. Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner is chairing Gingrich’s Alabama campaign and recently announced a lengthy list of co-chairs and endorsements from Alabama politicians.
The Romney campaign got some good polling news today but whether he will see the conservative base in Alabama rally around him in the primary remains to be seen. Polling details below:
For the first time in PPP’s monthly national polling since July 2010 Mitt Romney’s taken a lead, albeit a small one, over Barack Obama. He’s up 47-45.
Romney has two main things going for him. He leads the President 45-36 with independents. And he’s also benefiting from a much more unified party with 88% of Republicans committed to voting for him while only 83% of Democrats say they’ll vote for Obama.
Our national survey confirms the wide electability gap between Romney and the rest of the Republican candidate field. Obama leads both Newt Gingrich (49-44) and Ron Paul (46-41) by 5 points, Michele Bachmann (50-41) by 9, and Rick Perry (50-40) by 10. It continues to look like if GOP voters really want to defeat Obama they pretty much have to nominate Romney.
One thing that could confound Romney’s prospects is if a strong third party candidate entered the race. We find that pretty much all of the big names who have been mentioned for potential independent bids would take a lot more voters from Romney than Obama.
The strongest potential independent candidate we tested is Donald Trump who gets 19% in a three way contest with Obama at 45% and Romney at 31%. The folks who say they would support Trump go for Romney 71-10 in a straight up head to head with Obama. Donald Trump’s ego could potentially prove to be Obama’s greatest asset for reelection in 2012.