Tales from the Trail

Tea party boosts Perry to top of GOP polls

Texas Governor Rick Perry has vaulted into the lead among Republicans vying for the nomination to oppose  President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid, according to several new  polls. And he may have the Tea Party to thank for it.

A CNN/ORC International poll released  Monday showed Perry strongly favored by Republicans and independent voters who lean Republican. Among the declared candidates, Perry has 32 percent support, followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 18 percent, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 12 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 7 percent, Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 6 percent and the rest of the field in the low single digits.

This could reflect shifting allegiances among Tea Party supporters, according to Gallup, which released its own poll last week also showing that Perry had replaced Romney as the early front-runner.

Gallup said Perry leads by 21 percentage points over Romney and Bachmann, his closest contenders, although Perry and Romney are essentially tied among survey respondents who do not support the Tea Party.

“Perry has immediately become the preferred Republican nomination candidate of Tea Party movement supporters and, by extension, those who view government spending and power as the most important issue. He also demonstrates strong appeal to moral values voters, and is competitive with Romney among Republicans rating business and the economy as the most important issue,” Gallup said.

Americans want Tea Party ideas in Republican brew – poll

Americans think Republicans should listen to their Tea Party colleagues, not ignore them.

In the aftermath of November elections that gave some Tea Party supported candidates seats in Congress, a Gallup poll finds that most Americans believe that Republicans should take into account Tea Party ideas when they tackle the problems facing the country. OBAMA-SPEECH/

The poll found that 71 percent of adults, and 88 percent of Republicans, say it is important that Republican leaders in Congress consider Tea Party movement ideas. The survey was conducted Jan. 14-16, more than a week before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Jan. 25.

Poll finds Obama losing favor among independents

President Barack Obama’s approval rating is showing the steepest decline among independents, slipping below 40 percent for the first time in a year, according to a new Gallup poll. OBAMA/

That’s not good news for Democrats four months before the November elections when all seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for a vote.

Even though it isn’t a presidential election year, the state of  Obama’s popularity can rub off on his party with Democrats fighting to retain control of both houses of Congress. Independents could be key in determining the outcome of close races, and certainly worthy of wooing.

Gallup poll: conservatives outnumber moderates and liberals

What’s in a political label?

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Well Gallup has found that more Americans identify themselves as conservatives than those who call themselves moderate or liberal.

On the question of political ideology, 40 percent of those surveyed said they were conservative, 36 percent were moderate, and 20 percent liberal.

“This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group,” Gallup says.