Poll: Perry (and Johnson!) Surge, Paul and Romney Hardest Hit

CNN gives us the latest numbers in that non-existent GOP national primary. The trendlines are from August 5-7, the last week before Perry got into the race.

Rick Perry - 32% (+14)
Mitt Romney - 18% (-5)
Michele Bachmann - 12% (+3)
Newt Gingrich - 7% (-1)
Ron Paul - 6% (-8)
Herman Cain - 2% (-3)
Gary Johnson - 2% (+2)
Jon Huntsman - 1% (-4)
Rick Santorum - 1% (-2)
Thaddeus McCotter - 1% (+1)

Can we over-interpret this result! Yes, we can. It’s increasingly silly that Johnson isn’t included in debates. Even if this poll is a statistical aberration, one cannot say that he has any less support than the very well-covered Huntsman; one can only say he has less renowned campaign strategists. From this and polls in primary states, we can keep on pointing out that Herman Cain thrived when no one else could bid for the Tea Party vote, and now that Bachmann and Perry both can, Cain’s shot at an upset has vanished. (Extra bonus irony: Huntsman’s invite to the next GOP debate is solely due to his previous 5% showing in this poll.)

If you dig into the internals, Paul’s collapse here – not echoed in many national polls – argues against the Paul campaign spin that Perry helps the libertarian congressman by splitting up the “status quo” vote. Perry appeals to a hardline anti-government voter who, up to now, could have been perfectly happy with Paul. Also, despite what Anonymous GOP Strategists might say, Newt Gingrich’s “surge” amounts to a steady single-digit level of support.