posted at 2:00 pm on August 2, 2011 by Steve Eggleston
There’s been a lot of numbers and rhetoric tossed about on what the debt deal (shortened to The Deal, not because I like it, but because it makes the phrase stand out) does and doesn’t do. However, I don’t believe anybody has done an exploration of the absolute effect is. It’s high time to do so.
First, the base from which the reductions are to be needs to be established. While that base has been established to be a “modified” version of the March 2011 Congressional Budget Office extended-baseline scenario, a quick review of which is part of the CBO’s review of the President’s FY2012 budget proposal.
The extended-baseline scenario assumes the CBO’s estimates, based on current law and not necessarily current policy, of direct spending (which, among other things, ends the Medicare “doc fix”) and revenues (which, among other things, assumes that all of the Bush tax rates expire at the end of 2012 and the Alternate Minimum Tax is no longer “indexed” to keep middle- and lower-income Americans from being caught in that trap), and that every top-line category of discretionary spending that does not explicitly end in FY2010 is increased at the rate of inflation.
The bottom line on that is that, on $39.03 trillion in revenue and $45.77 trillion in outlays, there would be $6.74 trillion in deficit spending. However, there are a couple of “wrinkles” that were added to that in the baseline used.
Normally, that would include spending on what used to be known as (and is still called by the Republicans on the House Budget Committee) the Global War on Terror. However, every entity, from the White House to the House of Representatives to the Senate Democrat leadership, agrees that, instead of spending $1,589 billion over the next 10 years as the extended-baseline scenario calls for, $545 billion will be spent. While the CBO excluded the entirety of that at the request of Congress as it is not part of this bill, I will add the $545 billion back in, using the House budget spending by year, as there is no difference year-to-year between the President’s and the House of Representatives’ budgets.
Also, the CBO, at the request of Congress, has figured in the effects of the final FY2011 continuing resolution. That is another $122 billion reduction in spending.
Taking the full effect of those modifications into consideration, the federal government would take in $39.03 trillion in revenue, spend $44.60 trillion, and run a 10-year deficit of $5.57 trillion.
There are a couple of other “baselines” that one could choose. The President’s budget, according to the CBO, would take in $36.70 trillion in revenue, spend $46.17 trillion, and run a 10-year deficit of $9.47 trillion. That budget already includes all of the modifications above.
An “Alternate Fiscal Scenario” from the CBO, which assumes various spending and revenue options, including those outlined above, are affirmatively extended rather than allowed to expire or otherwise not happen and last outlined in percentage-of-GDP form in June, would also need to be adjusted by the above adjustments. Once that is done, it would presume $35.05 trillion in revenues, $46.81 trillion in spending, and $11.76 trillion in deficits.
Meanwhile, the House budget, which keeps all of the Bush tax rates, indexes the AMT, and does some further tax cuts, envisions $34.87 trillion of revenues, $39.96 trilion of spending, and $5.09 trillion of deficit spending. Like the President’s budget, it already includes all the modifications above.
The first 2 years – $63 billion in scorable deficit reduction versus the “adjusted” CBO baseline
Like the CBO, I cannot and will not attempt to score the effects of a potential $1.2 trillion in “trigger” cuts, $1.5 trillion in “commission” cuts, or adoption of a Balanced Budget Amendment. However, I have actually read the bill, and the discretionary spending caps are, unlike the $1.2 trillion-$1.5 trillion in “additional cuts”, actual hard numbers, not nebulous percentages or “reduction” numbers”. Therefore, actual bottom-line spending comparisons can be made against any base. As the CBO used an adjusted version of their March 2011 baseline, I added the (all-but-)agreed-to spending levels on the GWOT to do so.
Using the adjusted CBO baseline, there would be, between FY2012 and FY2013, $5.65 trillion in revenue, $7.34 trillion in spending, and $1.69 trillion in deficit spending. Adopting The Deal l would knock the spending down to $7.28 trillion and deficits down to $1.63 trillion.
By way of comparison, the President’s budget would have $5.44 trillion in revenue, $7.51 trillion in spending, and $2.07 trillion in deficits. That’s an additional $233 billion in spending and $438 billion in deficits versus The Deal.
The House budget would have $5.39 trillion in revenue, $7.09 trillion in spending, and $1.69 trilllion in deficits. While spending in the House budget would be $190 billion less than The Deal and $253 billion less than the adjusted CBO baseline, the deficit would be slightly higher than The Deal and insignifiantly less than the adjusted baseline as, instead of the Bush tax rates expiring at the end of 2012 (1/4th the way through 2013) and the AMT “indexing” not happening, both would continue as they have the past 8 years.
The “out” years – $855 billion in “scorable” deficit reduction – if The Deal holds
I will preface this that there is a significant amount of debt service savings from the reductions in spending on the GWOT that were scored in the two budgets that were not scored separately in even the CBO analysis of the Senate proposals. Judging by the CBO scoring of the Senate proposal versus the House proposals and The Deal, that is roughly $220 billion in reduced spending over the 10 years not reflected in either the adjusted CBO baseline or The Deal.
Also, the bulk of the $1.2 trillion-$1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction, or any adoption of a Balanced Budget Amendment, will happen in this time frame. As noted above, that cannot be properly scored as yet.
With that said, the adjusted CBO baseline anticipates $33.39 trillion in revenues, $37.26 trillion in spending, and $3.87 trillion in deficits between FY2014 and FY2021. The Deal changes the spending to $36.41 trillion and the 8-year deficit to $3.02 trillion.
The President’s budget is a veritable blowout of spending, especially deficit spending. On $31.26 trillion of revenue, there would be $38.67 trillion of spending and $7.40 trillion of deficits.
While the House budget would continue to spend less at $29.48 trillion, its reduced expectation of revenue of $32.87 trillion would result in $3.39 trillion in deficits.
What about tax hikes?
While The Deal does not explicitly address taxes, I’ve got bad news for everybody (or at least everybody who thinks a non-WWII record level of revenues as a percentage of GDP in 2021 is a bad idea) on that front. Any attempt to either extend any part of the Bush tax rates beyond 2012 or keep “indexing” the AMT will be scored as a deficit increase. The back-of-the-envelope numbers on the various proposals are that the “scored” increase would be about $2.5 trillion for the Obama “hold those under $200K/$250K harmless” plan, $3.5 trillion for full extension of the Bush tax rates, and $4.2 trillion to continue the entirety of the current tax structure.
What about S&P and Moody’s?
Again, baselines matter. Unfortunately, neither S&P nor Moody’s appear to have mentioned from which baseline they wanted the “$4 trillion in deficit reduction”. It has been said that Cut, Cap and Balance, even before adoption of the Balanced Budget Amendment, would have met that. However, I have not seen any CBO score on that.
Moreover, up until the Congressional leadership decided to start talking to each other instead of with President Obama, it was widely assumed the $4 trillion that was being talked about was against the President’s budget and its $9.47 trillion 10-year deficit spending. The House budget, and the Cut, Cap and Balance bill that, after higher spending in FY2012 compared to that, used percentage-of-GDP spending levels based on that budget, would easily have cleared that hurdle.
Going against the President’s budget, The Deal, with $4.65 trillion in 10-year deficit spending, also would very easily clear that hurdle, even before the “trigger”/commission/BBA. Moody’s has already said they would maintain a negative outlook on the US soverign debt, while S&P is making noises that they will downgrade the debt. I have to wonder what more those credit rating agencies want.
Revisions/extensions - I really need to proofread these opii. Corrected a typo. I hope there isn’t more.
This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look
posted at 1:22 pm on August 2, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Bad news comes out of the must-carry state of Pennsylvania today for Barack Obama and his re-election hopes. Not only has Obama fallen far below water in his approval rating in the latest Quinnipiac poll, he has now dropped into a tie against a potential Republican nominee. No, this isn’t a generic Republican, either:
The protracted slugfest over raising the national debt limit leaves President Barack Obama with a 54 – 43 percent disapproval among Pennsylvania voters, but he scores better than Republicans or Democrats in Congress, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. …
Pennsylvania voters say 52 – 42 percent that Obama does not deserve to be reelected. Matching the president against possible Republican challengers shows:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 44 percent to Obama’s 42 percent;
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 43 percent to Obama’s 45 percent;
Obama leads Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann 47 – 39 percent;
Obama tops Texas Gov. Rick Perry 45 – 39 percent.
The internals of the poll look even worse for Obama. The overall deserves-re-election number is 42/52, a very bad number in Democrat-heavy Pennsylvania, where Democrats account for half of all registered voters. Independents split almost exactly the same at 42/51, and the only region in which Obama has a majority for re-election is Philadelphia. Even among union households, which should be Obama’s bread and butter, he only gets a narrow 48/45 split, roughly a virtual tie.
The head-to-head numbers are simply embarrassing for a Democratic President in Pennsylvania, especially against a former Keystone State Senator who got blown out in his last statewide election. There is another reason to worry, too, in that series. Obama doesn’t get to 50% against any Republican in head-to-head matchups, usually a big red flag for incumbents. The best he does is 47% against Michele Bachmann.
If Obama is doing this badly in Pennsylvania, it strongly suggests a big opening in the Rust Belt for Republicans next year. Democrats in Michigan have a similar registration advantage, but not in Ohio, Indiana, or even Wisconsin, which have similar demographics as Pennsylvania and all of which Obama carried in 2008. Obama has a big, big problem in this region, and losing Pennsylvania might just be the beginning of his woes.
Open thread: Senate to vote on House-passed debt deal at noon Update: Senate passes debt deal, 74-26 Update: President ends this saga, signs debt deal
posted at 11:20 am on August 2, 2011 by Tina Korbe
After a dramatic night in the House of Representatives last night, the disappointment of a debt deal that passed the House heads to the Senate, where it faces seemingly fewer obstacles than it faced in the House.
But that doesn’t mean passage will be “easy.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said no amendments will be allowed and the plan requires a supermajority of 60 votes to pass. One notable “no” vote will come from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). The senator who has been sounding the warning bell about an eleventh hour deal for months — and who has kept the count as to how many days the Senate has gone without passing a budget resolution (825!) — explains why he can’t support the deal:
“We’re getting pretty far away from the traditions of this body when you don’t publicly debate a budget, you create a committee of limited numbers of people to produce legislation that can’t be amended,” Sessions says in the video. “For those reasons, I feel like as a Senator and the ranking member on the Budget Committee who’s wrestled with this for some time, I would not be able to support the legislation. Though, I truly believe it is a step forward, and I respect my colleagues who’ve worked hard to try to bring it forward.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), whose name has become almost synonymous with the push for a balanced budget amendment, is still a “no” vote, as is Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) remain “yes” votes, of course.
Senate Democrat opposition to the deal doesn’t rival Democrat opposition in the House, where Rep. Emanuel Cleaver created news by calling the deal a “sugar-coated satan sandwich” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi implied it also features “satan fries on the side.” But I’ll keep an eye out for any likely “no” votes from the left side of the aisle.
Again, though, the bill is broadly expected to pass. Bill Hemmer just said the guidance Fox News has received suggests the Senate will give it at least 70 votes — so it won’t even be close. After that, attention will turn to the 12-member special commission.
Meanwhile, rumors of a downgrade despite the deal continue to circulate.
Update I: Reid is on the Senate floor right now, saying, “We were on the brink of disaster, but, one day before the deadline, we were able to avert that disaster. … There’s principally one winner through all of this: the American people. … The result of this Tea Party direction of this Congress has been very disconcerting. It stopped us from arriving at a conclusion much sooner. …”
Update II: Bill Hemmer just tweeted and AP reports that 60 senators have already voted “yes” for the deal, which means it passes. But the roll call continues. Guy Benson tweets that four Democrats have voted “no” so far: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT).
Update III: The deal has passed, 74 to 26. Three more Dem “no” votes: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.). Now awaiting the president’s speech from the Rose Garden …
Update IV: In his Rose Garden speech, the president issued veiled instructions to the deficit-reduction joint committee created by the debt deal — instructions that amounted to, “Raise taxes.” For more, see my upcoming post in just a bit.
Update V: The president just signed the debt deal. Aaaannnddd … it’s over. For now.
posted at 12:45 pm on August 2, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
The ObamaCare bill has resulted in an explosion of ambiguity and arbitrary rulings, mainly focused at first on temporary waivers for some insurers and employers on requirements for meeting the threshold of payouts to premiums. The Department of Health and Human Services stopped issuing waivers under pressure from Congress to explain their methodology, but a new ruling by Kathleen Sebelius will likely prompt even more protests. The Obama administration ordered insurers to cover prescription contraceptives and a range of other “women’s wellness” services and products without co-pays:
Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said Monday in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.
The requirement is part of a broad expansion of coverage for women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Also to be covered without copays are breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual “well-woman” physical, screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy, counseling on domestic violence, and other services.
“These historic guidelines are based on science and existing (medical) literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The new requirements will take effect Jan. 1, 2013, in most cases. Tens of millions of women are expected to gain coverage initially, and that number is likely to grow with time. At first, some plans may be exempt due to a complex provision of the health care law known as the “grandfather” clause. But those even plans could face pressure from their members to include the new benefit.
Let’s put this in its proper context. Thanks to this new mandate, insurers will eat hundreds of millions or perhaps billions of dollars in additional costs each year. Guess how they will recoup those costs? Premiums will rise across the board, meaning that everyone will pay the additional cost as well as the specific patients getting the services and products.
Does this solve some sort of pressing gap in society? Not really. As the Huffington Post report notes, contraceptive use is already nearly universal. The report quotes a government study that shows 90 million prescriptions for contraceptives are dispensed annually. Clearly, there is no big gap in access due to having co-pays for the Pill. If poor women had problems paying the additional cost, then HHS could have ordered Medicaid to end co-pays, a power that was already within their jurisdiction before ObamaCare’s passage.
So where does this end? Do we next mandate an end to co-pays on Lipitor because cholesterol is a problem in American health? I can tell you that the co-pays on that medication are higher than on most and probably represent more of a barrier to access than co-pays on the Pill, let alone access to breast pumps and counseling on domestic violence.
This is a preview of life under ObamaCare. This edict got handed down from the mountain purely for political purposes. The Obama administration wants to bolster its standing with women ahead of the next election; this mandate will probably get featured in an endless series of campaign ads. “President Obama protects women!” the copy will read. In the meantime, rational provider-patient cost sharing on non-critical products and services will be discarded, forcing the rest of us to eat the cost in higher premiums. It’s the ultimate in arbitrary exercises in authority.
And people wonder why employers, who have to price the costs of adding positions, aren’t hiring any more.
posted at 12:00 pm on August 2, 2011 by Tina Korbe
It seems to be the new talking point: The deal is a victory for conservatives not because of what it does (which is, not much!), but because it supposedly represents a change in the direction of the debate. Once, Washington discussed what to grow. Now, Washington discusses what to cut. Even former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has echoed the theme — but with qualifications. The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire reports:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Monday’s House vote to lift the debt ceiling was a victory for the tea party, proving that conservative activists had shifted the conversation in Washington.
“We shall take this victory and make sure our politicians in office today are learning from this victory,” Ms. Palin said Monday night on Fox News, where she is a paid contributor. “It’s not a 100% pure genuine victory. We just handed the most liberal president, I believe, in U.S. history a $2.4 billion debt increase.” …
Ms. Palin didn’t fully embrace the deal, saying she had plenty of problems with the compromise between the White House and congressional leaders, including Republican House Speaker John Boehner. In the past, the former governor said she was not convinced America would face a default if lawmakers did not raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2.
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the founders of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress (along with GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann), says the deal can’t possibly be touted as a win.
“The Tea Party is not calling this a victory,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said today on Fox News. “I’m certainly not.”
It’s perplexing, really — the way so many conservatives changed their minds at the last minute. About a week ago, Palin called for any supposedly small-government freshman who voted for a debt ceiling increase to face a “contested” primary. Now, she’s silent on the subject of the 59 House freshmen who voted for the deal. And what about the 59 freshmen who voted that way in the first place? What accounts for their support? What accounts for Boehner’s comment that he got “98 percent” of what he wanted, when he clearly didn’t?
The effort to spin this compromise as a conservative victory is impressive — and it makes sense. No one wants to declare themselves diminished politically. And this deal enables leadership to tout its ability to garner votes, to prevent default, etc., etc. etc. But it’s still just a political victory. It’s not a solution. And to rest too much on the laurels of maybe-no-tax-hikes and at-least-it’s-not-a-clean-debt-ceiling-increase obscures the distance the country still has to go. Better to stay focused on the facts: The nation is still spending money it doesn’t have (we’re borrowing about $2 million every minute of every day!). The government is still growing (keep in mind the cuts are to increases in spending over the next 10 years).
Sunday, July 24, 2011
posted at 1:00 pm on July 24, 2011 by Tina Korbe
Tim Pawlenty’s campaign manager yesterday sent out an e-mail outlining Pawlenty’s accomplishments and assuring supporters that the former Minnesota governor’s fan club will continue to grow, while enthusiasm for other candidates — most implicitly, Michele Bachmann — will fade.
“In 2008, voters elected a member of Congress with no executive experience. We can’t afford the cost of inexperience any longer, and Iowans are getting that,” Ayers wrote. “[A]s more Republican primary voters start to tune in to the race, they are finding out that the governor’s record and message will stand the test [of] a brutal campaign. Other candidates’ records (or lack thereof), and plans for the future (or lack thereof) won’t.”
Even though Ayers never mentions Bachmann by name, it’s clear she’s the primary object of his statements.
Pawlenty’s persistent picking at Bachmann has drawn so much press attention that some even questioned whether the Pawlenty campaign planted the story of Bachmann’s supposedly “incapacitating” migraines. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin explains how that insinuation — and the Pawlenty campaign’s failure to completely dispense with it — continues to plague Pawlenty’s prospects:
In essence, the campaign’s defense is that they let the press run with a story without effectively rebutting it. If that is the case, and there is no definitive proof at this point to suggest otherwise, this will only multiply concerns that Pawlenty’s campaign is not firing on all cylinders. In any event, the issue has now created another worrisome distraction for Pawlenty, who has failed to make a dent in the polls and needs to finish near the top of the pack in Ames.
Meantime, Bachmann’s own handling of the headache issue has actually served her well. This weekend, she even slipped in a witty quip about her “condition” during an Iowa appearance:
Michele Bachmann went beyond her prepared statement about her migraines during an Iowa appearance today, making a joke about the story that dominated the 2012 coverage for much of last week:
“This week, they were talking about me and headaches. All I want you to know is I’ve been giving a lot more headaches in Washington than I’ve been getting,” she joked to laughter and raucous applause. … “And as president of the United States, I intend to give those big power brokers a lot more headaches, because we’re going to give the country back to you.”
Pawlenty’s persevering criticisms of a competitor continue to betray insecurity. Ed eloquently defended candidates’ rights to question their competitors’ records — and I initially conceded Bachmann’s migraines to be a legitimate cause for concern (at least until her doctor settled the issue definitively) and praised T-Paw’s common-sense quote about the requirements of the presidency — but, at this point, if I were Pawlenty, I would steer as far away from any mention of Bachmann — explicit or implicit — as I could manage. He doesn’t appear to be hurting Bachmann, but he is denting the best shield he has against attacks against him: His reputation as a stand-up guy who’s running on his own merits, not money or a popular image. He’s at his best when he talks policy, not petty quibbles.
posted at 12:00 pm on July 24, 2011 by Jazz Shaw
President Obama is under attack these days from all manner of nasty conservatives who don’t care for his liberal, big spending ways. They seem to have found an unlikely ally, though, in the person of the only officially declared socialist in Congress… Bernie Sanders. (Emphasis in original.)
SANDERS: Brian, believe me, I wish I had the answer to your question. Let me just suggest this. I think there are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president; who believe that, with regard to Social Security and a number of other issues, he said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president; who cannot believe how weak he has been, for whatever reason, in negotiating with Republicans and there’s deep disappointment. So my suggestion is, I think one of the reasons the president has been able to move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him and I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting what is a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama is doing. [...] So I would say to Ryan [sic] discouragement is not an option. I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.
It’s hard to say how much impact this will have, because traditionally Sanders hasn’t enjoyed a tremendous amount of influence outside his own state. But it is a sign of growing discontent with the political arm of his party. For better or worse, Obama is offering up some spending cuts which will effectively take the legs out from under most of the advertisements congressional Democrats are planning on running next year.
It’s difficult to talk about “Republicans destroying Medicare and Social Security as we know it” during the campaign if the titular leader of your party has just forced a vote on you to cut it yourself. It’s even tougher to talk about the need to “tax the rich” so everyone can “pay their fair share” if your President cuts deals to enact even bigger tax cuts than his predecessor. (Cuts which he already signed on to extending.)
Sanders can’t very well run against Obama himself in a primary since he’s not a registered Democrat. (Though, in theory, he could sign up at any time this year and still do it.) I suppose he’s expecting an actual Democrat to step up to the plate and do it for the sake of stopping Obama from running to the middle in a Clinton like move to secure a second term. Even so, given the President’s currently tanking numbers, I don’t expect a long line of Democratic leaders to step up and attempt this.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
posted at 3:10 pm on July 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
CNN’s latest look at the Republican primary fight shows a big move being made by the man who hasn’t made his big move yet. Mitt Romney remains in first place at 16%, but only within the margin of error, as a group of speculative candidates have crowded right behind him. Texas Governor Rick Perry finishes second with 14%, and that’s not all:
As Texas Gov. Rick Perry comes closer to jumping into the race for the White House, he’s also close to the top of a new national survey in the battle for the GOP presidential nomination.
A CNN/ORC International Poll released Friday indicates that 14% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP pick Perry as their first choice for their party’s nomination, just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House.
Romney’s two point margin over Perry is within the survey’s sampling error.
Right behind Perry come Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, both at 13% and both within the MOE, too. None of these close finishers have actually declared a candidacy, which means that 40% of survey respondents not only are dissatisfied with the current lineup, they’ve picked non-candidates in their stead. That’s not good news for Romney, whose high profile from the 2007-8 campaign means that the problem isn’t a lack of familiarity with the electorate. Only 14% declare themselves “very satisfied” with the field, less than half of those who are either not very satisfied or not satisfied at all with the field (34%).
Bachmann finishes at 12%, the last candidate in double digits. Tim Pawlenty only gets 3% of the survey respondents’ endorsement, falling behind Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich, which puts a lot of pressure on Pawlenty to score big in next month’s Ames straw poll. Curiously, when Rick Perry gets removed from the list of choices, Bachmann scores best, picking up three points to finish tied for second with Palin at 15%.
Among independents, there are some surprising results. Mitt Romney finishes third at 12%, where Giuliani and Perry tie for second at 14% — and Bachmann wins at 15%. Bachmann comes in third among self-professed conservatives at 13%, with Romney beating her at 16%, but getting edged by Perry at 17%. Among both groups, Palin comes in fourth place. Not surprisingly, Perry wins the South handily, 21% to the 13% for Romney and, er, Giuliani? Romney and Giuliani also tie for first in the suburban demographic at 14%, with Perry close behind at 13%.
Clearly, Perry will be a force if and when he enters the race. If he’s the last person in, he may find even wider support, because right now it appears that Republicans are still holding their breath.