Rick Perry’s generated plenty of buzz nationally for his ongoing flirtation with a presidential bid, but his polling in the early states has yet to match the national hype.
Polling on Perry is still only beginning to trickle in from Iowa and New Hampshire, but the handful of surveys out there show him peaking in single digits.
An American Research Group poll in Iowa this week has him at just 2%, and the crosstabs don’t look any better among likely caucus-goers and self-identifying Tea Partiers. That puts him well behind top tier candidates like Michele Bachmann (25%) and Mitt Romney (20%), potential candidate Sarah Palin (10%), and others, and about even with Tim Pawlenty (2%), Jon Huntsman (2%), and the undeclared Rudy Giuliani (2%).
“There aren’t people clamoring for Rick Perry in Iowa at the moment,” ARG president Dick Bennett told TPM. According to Bennett, unreleased polling in New Hampshire has so far generated similar results.
“Low single digits at best,” he said. “I can tell you there’s no groundswell for him there, either.”
Two recent polls of New Hampshire already show Perry making a limited impact. Democratic pollster PPP puts him at 7% while a University of New Hampshire poll has him at 4%, behind Giuliani and ahead of Huntsman and Pawlenty.
Of course, the fact Perry — without even running — is pulling even with some of the struggling candidates who have sunk millions into the race merits at least some credit.
The most encouraging poll so far may be from The Iowa Republican, which gave Perry a pedestrian 7% in Iowa last month but found some silver lining in their data.
“80 percent of the most engaged caucus goers know who Rick Perry is,” editor Craig Robinson wrote. “That number falls to 48 percent with those who are not currently paying much attention to the race. It also turns out that those paying the most attention like Perry a lot: 51% of the plugged in crowd have a positive impression compared to 21% among those who are not following the race closely.”
Perry strategist Dave Carney noted to TPM in an e-mail that the campaign was still early.
“Polls are meaningless at this point,” he said.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.