Inside Politics

CAMPAIGN

Poll: Bachmann surges to primary lead

Fresh off her well-received performance in last week’s Republican presidential debate, Rep. Michele Bachmann now tops the field of candidates in a new Zogby poll of Republican primary voters.

The poll found Mrs. Bachmann of Minnesota garnering 24 percent of the vote, well ahead of businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who each got 15 percent support.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who officially announced his candidacy on Tuesday, scored just 2 percent support.

Mr. Romney has the air of inevitability about him - 37 percent of the 998 likely primary voters surveyed said they think he will win the nomination. The next closest candidate was Mrs. Bachmann, whom 7 percent of respondents predicted would win the nomination.

CAMPAIGN

Reid picks Huntsman in Mormon primary

He may not have wanted it, but Jon Huntsman Jr. apparently has an unlikely ally in Sen. Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate.

Both Mr. Huntsman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are Mormon, as is Mr. Reid.

So on Tuesday, as Mr. Huntsman announced his candidacy for the Republican Party’s 2012 nomination, a reporter asked Mr. Reid how he felt about having two co-religionists in the Republican presidential contest and whether the country was ready to elect one of them president.

Mr. Reid ignored the gist of the question and went straight for his evaluation of the two men, head-to-head.

“I feel very comfortable that they’re not ready for - certainly, they’re not ready for the former governor of Massachusetts,” he said, speaking of voters. “Which says in that race, if I had a choice, I would favor Huntsman over Romney.”

SOUTH CAROLINA

No money to fund 2012 GOP primary

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