Saturday’s South Carolina primary — which brought former House Speaker near the front of Republican voter preference – also appears to have brought satisfaction to many GOP voters about their options this year. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll (Week of 1/21/2012), mostly conducted after Saturday’s primary results were known, 58% of registered voters who say they will or have voted in a GOP primary or caucus this year said they were satisfied with their choices, up 13 points in just one week.
Satisfaction with the field has been below 50% for much of the primary season. Those GOP voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party have been more satisfied with their options than those who don’t think of themselves as Tea Partiers. And in fact, satisfactions has risen 18 points among Tea Party identifiers this week, to 68%. Barely half of non-Tea Party Republicans are satisfied.
While many Republican voters may say they are still not satisfied with their options, the vast majority admit they could support three of the remaining candidates: Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Combining first choice, second choice, and respondents’ answers to a question whether they would support each of them, Romney has 81% support, while Gingrich has 79%, and Santorum 74%. Just 49% would give Texas Congressman Ron Paul their support.
Photo source: Press Association