But that chart only tells a small part of the story. What also matters is the intensity with which his supporters back him. Passionate supporters are more likely to donate, volunteer and, eventually, vote for the candidate.
While it’s still extremely early in Perry’s candidacy, his voter intensity has held rock solid even as Perry is introduced to people who didn’t know him several weeks ago. His score in the chart below is 22, off only slightly from the previous reading of 23 taken two weeks prior.
Moreover, Perry has an intensity score that is much better than any of his major contenders. (Yes, Herman Cain’s intensity rating is higher, but he isn’t polling well in the key primary states, and he’s near the bottom of the pack on name recognition.)
While Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich and even Ron Paul have seen their intensity scores tank from double digits in April to single digits now, perhaps the most instructive case of generating less support among new constituencies is Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
After hitting a high positivity score of 24 around July, Bachmann has slipped down to 16.
The Bottom Line: Bachmann still leads Perry by a not-insignificant margin in name recognition. Thus, Perry’s challenge is going to be keeping his intensity score high as he reaches more conservative voters - a steep challenge, it could be argued, as those that aren’t plugged as deeply into the political process are less likely to have intense affiliations.
- See Rick Perry’s letter apparently arguing for the financial bailout of 2008, something Michele Bachmann strenuously opposed.
- Read Decoder’s brief rundown of three things you don’t know about the Texas governor.
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