Raleigh, N.C. – If there was any question that Rick Perry is the new Republican presidential frontrunner before now, PPP’s latest poll of South Carolina confirms it. A week ago, PPP showed Perry jumping to a narrow lead in first-caucus Iowa. Now, he has a double-digit lead in what will likely be the third-voting state.
Perry tops with 36% to Mitt Romney’s 16%, Michele Bachmann’s 13%, Herman Cain’s 9%, Newt Gingrich’s 8%, Ron Paul’s 5%, Rick Santorum’s 4%, and Jon Huntsman’s 2%. This is a sea change from when PPP last polled the race in June, with Perry not included. Romney led with 30% to Cain’s and Gingrich’s 15%, Bachmann’s 13%, and Paul’s 10%. If Sarah Palin joins the fray, it has no impact on Perry’s dominance but a lot on Bachmann’s standing. Palin would place third at 10% behind Perry still at 36%, Romney at 13%, followed by Cain’s 9%, and Bachmann and Gingrich tied at 7%.
Perry would also dominate if the race came down to the top three, with half the vote to Romney’s quarter and Bachmann’s 16%. Romney would narrowly beat Bachmann, 45-40, while Perry would crush either, 59-28 over Romney and 60-23 over Bachmann.