Bachmann is tops in GOP “intensity”
House Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann may not rate highly with Republican hierophants like George Will. But some Republicans seem to have an intense liking for her none the less, according to a new Gallup poll.
The Gallup survey of more than 1,500 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents shows Bachmann with a 20 percent “positive intensity” rating among 12 potential GOP White House wannabes. That’s second only to Mike Huckabee’s 25 percent rating. And it’s worth noting that Bachmann was recognized by only 52 percent of the respondents, so there may be room for improvement.
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor with a disarming nice-guy persona, has polled strongly among Republican voters for some time. But the results seem encouraging for Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican who has only recently emerged from relative obscurity on the back of the Tea Party movement.
Viewed in some circles as a not-ready-for-prime-time-player in national politics, Bachmann has been parodied on Saturday Night Live and castigated by critics for gaffes including a recent reference to the first shots of the American Revolution being fired in New Hampshire, instead of Massachusetts, where the Battles of Lexington and Concord actually occurred.
Will, the influential conservative columnist, told ABC’s “This Week” only two days ago that Bachmann was “not among the serious contenders.” That’s likely to prove true if she doesn’t poll strongly among independent voters who are not necessarily Tea Party-minded. Overall, Gallup said none of the GOP contenders they looked at drew a high level of intensely positive opinion — and that’s among Republicans.
The polling organization formulated its “positive intensity” ratings by asking respondents whether they have a strongly favorable, favorable, unfavorable, or strongly unfavorable opinion of the potential wannabe in question.
Rounding out the top 5 were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 17 percent, and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania with 16 percent each.
Conducted Feb. 28 to March 13, the results have a 3 percentage point margin of error.
Reuters Photo Credits: Brian Snyder (Michele Bachmann); Larry Downing (White House)
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