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Poll: Romney And Bachmann Good, Pawlenty... Not So Much

The latest polling from Quinnipiac shows some good news for Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney:
Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a relative newcomer in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is surging and now trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 25 - 14 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has 12 percent, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 10 percent. No other contender is over 6 percent.

This compares to a June 8 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing Romney with 25 percent, Palin with 15 percent and Bachmann with 6 percent, sixth in a field of 10 candidates in the survey.

President Barack Obama tops all leading GOP White House hopefuls, hitting the all- important 50-percent mark against every candidate but Romney:
  • 47 - 41 percent over Romney, unchanged from June 8;
  • 50 - 38 percent over Bachmann, who was not matched against Obama June 8;
  • 53 - 34 percent over Sarah Palin, compared to 53 - 36 percent June 8;
  • 50 - 37 percent over Perry, who was not matched against Obama June 8.
"Gov. Mitt Romney remains ahead of the GOP presidential pack as U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has zoomed into second place," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "With almost a dozen candidates and most of them not very well known, even to GOP activists, Gov. Romney's lead remains. Gov. Rick Perry, who is still a maybe candidate, breaks into double-digits and runs fourth, an indication that he could be a serious contender should he run."
But perhaps the most interesting part of the survey results surround the apparent slide that Tim Pawlenty is experiencing:
[Tim Pawlenty's] numbers have always been so low that it's tough to speak of a "crash", but he's definitely moving in the wrong direction.

In November, 2010, he polled at 6%. Now he's polling at 3%. And it's hard to imagine him doing much better -- especially if Perry and Palin jump in, and the establishment looks to rally around Romney.
Indeed.

Pawlenty needs something of a game-changer. If he continues down the plain vanilla path that he's currently traveling, he won't be able to attract significant support.

If, however, Pawlenty can find something to ignite excitement around his candidacy, he could be a force in the Republican primary.

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Photo: Scott Olson, Steve Pope, Mendel Ngan/Getty Images