Survey Finds Local Republicans Favor Rick Perry For President

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An unscientific poll of Republican voters attending the Payson Rodeo last weekend found that 29 percent support the presidential primary bid of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, precisely mirroring the findings of a recent, national Gallup Poll.

The informal poll of registered Republicans at the weekend rodeo put former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin in second place with 17 percent support, even though she hasn’t declared her candidacy, according to county GOP officials.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in third among the 11 candidates with 16 percent of the vote among the rodeo Republicans, compared to 17 percent among Republicans nationally in the Gallup Poll.

That national Gallup Poll showed Democratic President Barack Obama beating a generic, unnamed Republican 45 percent to 37 percent. However, the polls showed Obama running 2 points behind Mitt Romney, neck-and-neck with Perry and slightly ahead of Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann.

Locally, Congressman Ron Paul, an anti-war Libertarian, came in fourth with 11 percent support among local Republicans polled and 13 percent nationally.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite, drew 9 percent of the Republican vote locally, compared to 10 percent nationally.

Businessman Herb Cain garnered 7 percent of the local vote, but less than 4 percent nationally.

The Gila County Republican Party held the first-ever Republican Presidential Preference Straw Poll at the 127th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo over the Aug. 19-21 weekend.

The ballot included 11 candidates, including several undeclared candidates like Palin and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who drew the support of 5 percent of the local Republicans.

Registered Republicans voted for their favorite candidate or person who has been mentioned for the office of president of the United States. There were 11 Republican names on the straw poll ballot and voters were asked to pick their preferred candidate if the Republican Primary were held today.

Arizona will have a Republican Presidential Primary on Feb. 28, state lawmakers are debating whether to move the date to Jan. 31 to gain more national attention. Independents cannot vote in either party’s primary.

Results of the Gila County Republican Party Presidential Straw Poll included: Rick Perry: 29; Sarah Palin: 17; Mitt Romney: 16 ; Ron Paul: 11 ; Michele Bachmann: 9; Herman Cain: 7; Chris Christie: 5; Newt Gingrich 5; Jon Huntsman:1; and Rick Santorum: 0.

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