While Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee continue their strong polling in the latest release by Public Policy Polling, Mitt Romney appears to in the midst of a meltdown. In what appears to be a pattern in red/purple states, the one time front runner only garners the support of 14% of likely GOP primary voters in Missouri. Even more troubling, only 47% view him favorably. This is quite alarming given that in 2008, he captured 29% of the vote in the Missouri GOP primary. In addition, Romney has dropped 8 points in the state since March.
When it comes to the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination picture in Missouri Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin are out ahead of the pack with 27% and 25% respectively. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are a good deal back with 15% and 14%, followed by Ron Paul at 5%, Tim Pawlenty at 3%, John Thune at 2%, and Mitch Daniels at 1%.
Only 47% of Republican primary voters in Missouri have a favorable opinion of Romney, well below the 76% who like Huckabee, 72% who like Palin, and even the 57% who see Gingrich positively. Romney's poor performance is symbolic of an emerging trend in our 2012 polling- he tends to be a lot stronger in states that Barack Obama won in 2008 than he is in ones that went for John McCain. That's a double edged sword for him- he's frequently putting up general election numbers that make him look like the the most formidable nominee the Republicans could put forward. But at the same time his path to getting that nomination looks difficult with red state Republicans much less enthusiastic about Romney than the other folks in the game.
Exit question: I'm interested in hearing from Romney supporters. What has caused Mitt's precipitous decline in the polls as of late? Is it the increased scrutiny of RomneyCare? Or, a backlash against the GOP establishment for the attacks on Palin? Perhaps it's a little of both, but it's hard to ignore the developing pattern. Something is definitely afoot.
Full Results HERE