Alabama voters are unhappy with President Barack Obama, undecided about the Republican presidential field and pessimistic about the national economy, according to a new survey.
The poll, conducted by Capital Survey Research Center, the polling arm of the Alabama Education Association, found Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads the Republican primary field despite 46 percent of respondents not recognizing his name. However, every Republican except Sarah Palin would handily beat the president for the state’s nine electoral votes.
“The level of discontent with the federal government in Alabama is the same as it is at the national level,” said Gerald Johnson, director of the Capital Research Survey Center.
The Center conducted the survey of 841 registered voters on separate dates in July and August.
Over 59 percent of those polled gave President Obama “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” grades. 52 percent said they were “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the direction of the country, and 64 percent rated the country’s economic prospects as “poor.”
But asked about their satisfaction with “the way things are going for you personally,” nearly 76 percent said they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied.” Nearly 48 percent rated their own economic prospects as “excellent” or “good,” while 51 percent said they were “fair” or “poor.”
Although 51 percent said they planned to vote Republican in next year’s presidential election, the respondents as yet have not rallied around a candidate. Of 488 respondents who said they would vote in the Republican presidential primary, Perry was supported by 22.5 percent; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had close to 20 percent; while 14 percent had no answer.
While 25 percent of respondents had a favorable impression of Perry, 46 percent said they didn not recognize the name.
Johnson said it was “still early” in the race, and that Perry had made a good first impression.
“At this point, it’s their first impression, and their first impression is they like Rick Perry,” he said.
Perry isn’t the only GOP presidential candidate who has low name recognition at this point: business executive Herman Cain (53 percent), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (57 percent) and former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman (65 percent) were unknown to many voters. Romney had the highest combined favorable/very favorable rating of 40 percent, but had a unfavorable/very unfavorable rating of 35 percent.
Palin had a combined unfavorable/very unfavorable rating of 56 percent. In a head-to-head match with Obama, Palin led 44 to 42 percent, with 12 percent undecided. All other GOP candidates led Obama by 5 to 22 points.
– posted by Brian Lyman