Poll: No confidence in GOP front-runners

Sept. 25, 2011 at 2:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Rick Perry's debate performance could be indicative of an overall weak group of Republican hopefuls in the 2012 U.S. presidential race, analysts said Sunday.

Saturday's Florida straw poll had businessman Herman Cain coming in first with 37 percent, Perry, the governor of Texas, second with 15 percent and Mitt Romney third after the Fox/Google Republican presidential candidate debate Friday "Fox News Sunday" reported.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, won Sunday's Michigan straw poll in the state where he was born.

"Seventy percent [in Florida] voted against the two front-runners. It was a vote of no confidence. And Perry, I think, because of his really poor debate performance, but also Mitt Romney, who spent a lot of time in Florida over the last five years, to get 14 percent isn't very strong. So I think these are very weak front-runners," said Bill Kristol of "The Weekly Standard."

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume said that even Cain's success in the poll might be short-lived.

"[Cain] tried hard in this. He gave a stem-winder speech. He's a marvelous stump speaker, and it seems to me he gets a moment out of this, but I cant imagine that it's going to last very long," Hume said.

Hume said that while Perry has a chance to recover from Friday, he has some improvements to make in his debate performance.

"I think Rick Perry's position on allowing graduates at Texas high schools, even if they're illegal immigrants, to go to college with in-state [tuition] is defensible. The problem is, he didn't defend it," he said.

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