President Obama Would Lose if Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani Was the Nominee

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – July 26, 2011 – By this time next summer the Republican candidate who will challenge President Obama will be known but at this point the list of candidates and potential candidates for the nomination is still far from finalized. With the will-he-or-she-run-questions still being asked and answered, some of the names with the highest familiarity among the general public are still not even declared candidates.

    Obviously because of her run for Vice President with John McCain, almost nine in ten Americans (86%) are familiar with Sarah Palin and 75% of U.S. adults are familiar with Rudy Giuliani, both of whom are still undeclared, but possible candidates for the nomination. Majorities of Americans are familiar with declared candidates Newt Gingrich (72%), Mitt Romney (67%), and Ron Paul (52%) while half are familiar with Michele Bachmann (50%). All other potential candidates are at 30% or under in terms of familiarity.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,183 adults surveyed online between July 11 and 18, 2011.

    Even among Republicans, many declared candidates do not have majorities familiar with them. Tim Pawlenty (33%), Rick Santorum (31%), Herman Cain (29%), and Jon Huntsman (15%) all have one-third of Republicans or less familiar with them.

    With this in mind, it’s not surprising then that among Republicans over one-quarter (28%) say they are not at all sure who they would vote for if they were voting in the Republican primary. Rudy Giuliani (14%) and Mitt Romney (14%) rise to the top among Republicans followed by Sarah Palin (12%). All the other candidates presented are under 10% including Rick Perry (8%), Michele Bachmann (6%), and Ron Paul (5%). Among Independents there is a three way tie for first place between Rudy Giuliani (10%), Mitt Romney (10%) and Ron Paul (10%). But over two in five Independents (42%) say they are not at all sure who they would vote for in the Republican primary election.

    Against President Obama

    Looking ahead to November, it seems there are three possible candidates who could give President Obama a difficult time. President Obama would lose his re-election if Rudy Giuliani (53% to 47%) or Mitt Romney (51% to 49%) was the Republican nominee. Each candidate would receive 50% of the vote if the President was running against Ron Paul. Right now, President Obama would win re-election against the 10 other candidates presented.

    So What?

    Right now the Republican party needs to figure out who they are and begin the process of coalescing around one candidate. In the study of politics, there is always a debate regarding electability and this election may show that clearly. Should Republicans nominate a candidate who stands for certain values or policies important to a sub-section of the party, even though that candidate may not be electable in the general election? This is a question the Republican party needs to answer if they want to win next November.

     

    TABLE 1A

    REPUBLICAN FAMILIARITY

    How familiar are you with each of the following people?

    Base: All adults

     

    Familiar (NET)

    Very familiar

    Somewhat familiar

    Not familiar (NET)

    Not very familiar

    Not at all familiar

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Sarah Palin

    86

    48

    38

    14

    8

    5

    Rudy Giuliani

    75

    37

    39

    25

    11

    14

    Newt Gingrich

    72

    35

    37

    28

    14

    13

    Mitt Romney

    67

    29

    38

    33

    16

    16

    Ron Paul

    52

    19

    33

    48

    21

    27

    Michele Bachmann

    50

    19

    31

    50

    18

    32

    Rick Perry

    30

    13

    17

    70

    20

    50

    Tim Pawlenty

    28

    9

    19

    72

    22

    50

    Rick Santorum

    28

    10

    18

    72

    20

    52

    Herman Cain

    22

    7

    15

    78

    18

    60

    Jon Huntsman, Jr.

    15

    4

    11

    85

    22

    63

    Gary Johnson

    8

    3

    5

    92

    18

    74

    Thaddeus McCotter

    8

    3

    5

    92

    15

    77

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 1B

    REPUBLICAN FAMILIARITY

    How familiar are you with each of the following people?

    Summary of those saying Very familiar or Somewhat familiar

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Party ID

    Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Sarah Palin

    86

    88

    89

    89

    85

    86

    91

    Rudy Giuliani

    75

    77

    77

    78

    74

    74

    80

    Newt Gingrich

    72

    76

    74

    76

    76

    69

    74

    Mitt Romney

    67

    74

    65

    73

    69

    65

    70

    Ron Paul

    52

    55

    50

    60

    54

    48

    59

    Michele Bachmann

    50

    50

    50

    55

    53

    43

    59

    Rick Perry

    30

    38

    26

    30

    37

    26

    29

    Tim Pawlenty

    28

    33

    25

    33

    32

    25

    33

    Rick Santorum

    28

    31

    27

    32

    33

    23

    32

    Herman Cain

    22

    29

    17

    25

    32

    16

    21

    Jon Huntsman, Jr.

    15

    15

    17

    16

    17

    11

    23

    Gary Johnson

    8

    11

    7

    8

    9

    7

    8

    Thaddeus McCotter

    8

    8

    7

    8

    6

    8

    7

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 2

    REPUBLICAN PRIMARY ELECTION

    If you were voting in the Republican primary election and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total March 2011

    Total May 2011

    Total July 2011

    Party ID

    Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Rudy Giuliani

    8

    8

    11

    14

    11

    10

    10

    12

    13

    Mitt Romney

    10

    10

    11

    14

    12

    10

    11

    11

    13

    Sarah Palin

    7

    5

    8

    12

    7

    5

    9

    8

    7

    Ron Paul

    NA

    6

    7

    5

    5

    10

    6

    6

    8

    Rick Perry

    NA

    NA

    5

    8

    1

    6

    10

    2

    2

    Michele Bachmann

    2

    2

    4

    6

    2

    6

    8

    3

    2

    Jon Huntsman, Jr.

    NA

    1

    3

    2

    4

    2

    1

    2

    9

    Herman Cain

    NA

    2

    3

    4

    1

    4

    5

    3

    1

    Tim Pawlenty

    2

    2

    1

    4

     

    1

    3

    1

     

    Newt Gingrich

    5

    4

    1

    3

     

    1

    3

     

    1

    Rick Santorum

    1

     

    1

    1

    1

     

    1

    1

     

    Thaddeus McCotter

    NA

    NA

     

     

     

    1

     

    1

     

    Gary Johnson

    NA

    1

     

     

    1

     

    1

     

     

    Not at all sure

    45

    42

    44

    28

    53

    42

    34

    51

    44

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; indicates less than .05%; NA indicates it was not asked in that poll.

     

    TABLE 3A

    2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE OR PRESIDENT OBAMA

    Looking at the list below, assuming each person listed is the Republican nominee running against President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, who would you vote for?

    Base: All adults

     

    Would vote for

    President Obama

    The Republican nominee

    %

    %

    Thaddeus McCotter

    57

    43

    Gary Johnson

    56

    44

    Herman Cain

    56

    44

    Jon Huntsman, Jr.

    55

    45

    Rick Santorum

    55

    45

    Rick Perry

    54

    46

    Michele Bachmann

    54

    46

    Tim Pawlenty

    54

    46

    Newt Gingrich

    54

    46

    Sarah Palin

    54

    46

    Ron Paul

    50

    50

    Mitt Romney

    49

    51

    Rudy Giuliani

    47

    53

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 3B

    2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE OR PRESIDENT OBAMA

    Looking at the list below, assuming each person listed is the Republican nominee running against President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, who would you vote for?

    Summary of those who would vote for the Republican nominee

    Base: All adults

     

    Total March 2011

    Total May 2011

    Total July 2011

    Party ID

    Philosophy

    Tea Party Support

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Rudy Giuliani

    51

    51

    53

    89

    24

    56

    84

    48

    19

    87

    Mitt Romney

    49

    49

    51

    87

    21

    55

    84

    45

    19

    87

    Ron Paul

    NA

    45

    50

    83

    18

    57

    82

    42

    19

    85

    Sarah Palin

    42

    42

    46

    79

    20

    48

    78

    40

    13

    83

    Newt Gingrich

    44

    44

    46

    82

    15

    49

    81

    37

    15

    82

    Tim Pawlenty

    44

    42

    46

    83

    15

    49

    80

    38

    13

    83

    Michele Bachmann

    41

    42

    46

    81

    18

    49

    79

    39

    13

    83

    Rick Perry

    NA

    NA

    46

    82

    17

    48

    80

    38

    14

    84

    Rick Santorum

    43

    43

    45

    81

    15

    48

    79

    37

    14

    83

    Jon Huntsman, Jr.

    NA

    41

    45

    81

    16

    46

    77

    37

    14

    81

    Herman Cain

    NA

    41

    44

    79

    15

    46

    77

    37

    12

    81

    Gary Johnson

    NA

    43

    44

    80

    15

    45

    78

    36

    12

    80

    Thaddeus McCotter

    NA

    NA

    43

    79

    15

    44

    77

    36

    12

    80

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; NA indicates it was not asked in that poll.

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between July 11 to 18, 2011 among 2,183 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J40488

    Q1218, 1225, 1230, 1240, 1250

    The Harris Poll® #87, July 26, 2011

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research