A Rasmussen Reports survey of likely Republican primary voters asked if it would be good, or bad, for Republicans if former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Texas Governor Rick Perry, or former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani entered the presidential race.
A plurality of respondents, 45 percent, said it would be bad for Republicans if Palin entered the race, while 36 percent said it would be good for Republicans. The same percentage favored Perry entering the race, but only 21 percent thought a Perry candidacy would be bad for Republicans.
Though he claimed no interest for months, some close to Perry have acknowledged that he is now reconsidering and may enter the race. Perry is the longest serving governor in Texas and is expected to do well among social conservatives and Southerners.
Palin received better marks among respondents who considered themselves part of the Tea Party. Forty-nine percent of Tea Party identifiers thought a Palin candidacy would be good for the GOP while 53 percent thought the same of Perry.
Palin has not said whether she plans on running. While she has strong support in the Tea Party, strong negative feelings can be found among voters outside of the Tea Party.
Since Palin supporters strongly overlap with those of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (who announced on Monday that she filed paperwork to enter the presidential race), a Palin candidacy would, presumably, split their support, making victory more difficult for either candidate.
Commenting on a possible Palin run, Bachmann told The Christian Post earlier this month, “Governor Palin is a friend and I know if she runs she will bring a unique background to the field.”
Giuliani, who ran in 2008 and has recently shown interest in attempting another run, received mixed signals. Thirty-eight percent viewed a Giuliani run positively while 35 percent viewed it negatively.
Giuliani was widely seen as showing strong leadership as mayor of New York City in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. His liberal stances on social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, would prove a hindrance, however, to obtaining votes from the GOP’s social conservative base.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney continues to lead in the polls with 33 percent of likely Republican primary voters. Bachmann is now in second place, 19 percent, after a strong showing in CNN's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on Monday.
The survey of 1,000 respondents was conducted on June 14, 2011, and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.