Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pawlenty the Strongest Candidate to Defeat Romney Head on

Public Policy Polling took their first Iowa poll since Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they would not be running for president. While it is very early for polling to mean a lot, one thing they found was that Pawlenty appears to be the strongest candidate in a head to head match up with Romney.

There's been a lot of speculation that the Republican race could eventually come down to Romney and a single more conservative alternative. Although this will likely not be the case when the voting in Iowa happens we tested several head to head match ups between Romney and other GOP contenders to see how they would come out. Pawlenty may actually be the strongest contender to become the 'anti-Romney' as he ties him at 41%. Otherwise Romney leads- 48-41 over Palin, 46-38 over Bachmann, and 48-34 over Cain.

Pawlenty doesn't poll the strongest head to head among Romney among 'very conservative' voters- he leads by 17 compared to a 21 point lead for Palin and a 24 point advantage for Bachmann with that group. But with center right voters- those calling themselves 'somewhat conservative'- Romney leads Pawlenty by just a single point while he has a 19 point advantage over Palin and a 22 point lead over Bachmann with that group. What that says to me is that many Republicans are looking for someone more conservative than Romney but someone who isn't bound to get creamed in the general election the way Palin, Bachmann, and Cain probably would. That's very good news for Pawlenty if it ever plays itself out in real life.

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