PRINCETON, NJ -- Newly announced presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Positive Intensity Score among Republicans who recognize him is up to 17 this week, essentially tying him with Michele Bachmann. Both remain behind Herman Cain on this measure. Rick Santorum, another newly announced candidate, has a Positive Intensity Score of 11; 44% of Republicans nationwide know him, virtually unchanged so far this year.
Romney, who officially announced his presidential candidacy in New Hampshire last Thursday, is more positively situated in this week's update on Gallup's presidential tracking measures than has previously been the case. Romney's Positive Intensity Score of 17 is higher than those of the other three best-known candidates -- Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.
Palin, who has still not said whether she is running for her party's presidential nomination, conducted a widely publicized bus tour of the East Coast over the Memorial Day holiday and into last week. Her Positive Intensity Score is now 13, one point lower than last week and off her high of 19 earlier this year.
Gingrich announced his candidacy on May 11, but has now left the campaign trail for a two-week vacation with his wife. Gingrich's image in Republicans' eyes continues to slide. His Positive Intensity Score of 4 is down from 6 last week and markedly off from his high of 19 earlier this year. Gingrich's Positive Intensity Score is the second lowest of any Republican tested, higher only than former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson's 2.
Paul's Positive Intensity Score of 7 is his lowest of the year; he is recognized by about three-quarters of Republicans.
Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, officially announced his candidacy on Monday. His name recognition of 44% is virtually the same as in mid-March. This lack of improvement contrasts with substantial upticks in name recognition for a number of other Republicans over that same time period, including Herman Cain (up 19 points), Tim Pawlenty (13 points), Bachmann (11 points), and Jon Huntsman (10 points).
Pawlenty's Positive Intensity Score is 14, putting him in the third tier of candidates on this measure, behind Cain, Bachmann, and Romney.
Cain maintains the highest Positive Intensity Score of any candidate measured, at 25. His 40% name recognition is low on an absolute basis, but is up from 21% in March. By contrast, Santorum's recognition score in March was 46%, and now, 2 ½ months later, it is at 44%.
Bachmann reportedly has hired the well-known political consultant Ed Rollins to join her political team, and is expected to officially announce her presidential candidacy later this month. Her current Positive Intensity Score of 18 is her lowest yet, although her name recognition has climbed from 52% in March to 63% today.
This week marked either stability or decline in the Positive Intensity Scores of most of the 10 Republicans Gallup is tracking, with the exception of Romney, whose Positive Intensity Score edged up to 17 after his formal entry into the race. He is now better positioned on this measure than any of the Republicans measured except for Cain and Bachmann, and is better known than both of these. However, Romney is not generating the same level of intensity as did Mike Huckabee before he announced last month that he was not running for president.
Pawlenty's and Palin's Positive Intensity Scores are slightly below Romney's, with newly announced candidate Santorum in turn behind them. Four candidates now have low, single-digit Positive Intensity Scores -- Paul, Huntsman, Gingrich, and Johnson. Gingrich in particular stands out for his rapid fall in Republicans' eyes in recent weeks. At one point in March and early April, Gingrich was as well positioned as any other candidate Gallup tested. Now, his Positive Intensity Score is next to last.
Cain's, Pawlenty's, Bachmann's, and Huntsman's name recognition scores have increased in recent weeks, providing a stark contrast with the situation of newly announced candidate Santorum, who is no better known now than he was three months ago. The data also show almost no progress for Johnson, who is unknown to more than 8 in 10 Republicans and who has the lowest Positive Intensity Score of any candidate measured.
Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking May 23-June 5, 2011, with random samples of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Questions asking about the 10 potential candidates measured in this research were rotated among randomly selected samples of Republicans each night; over the 14-day period, each candidate was rated by a minimum of 1,500 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
For the overall ratings of each potential candidate among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, including recognition scores, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. For the Positive Intensity Score for each candidate, the maximum margin of sampling error varies depending on the size of the group recognizing the candidate.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2010 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.