Here's a new, wonky game: what words do you think voters mentioned the most when Rick Perry's name was read by a pollster? How about with Mitt Romney or Herman Cain? Courtesy of a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll and via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, we now know the first words those candidates bring to mind are, respectively: Texas, Mormon and 9-9-9, referring to a prickly governor's home state, a tenuous frontrunner's faith, and the catchily titled tax plan of a former pizza magnate. Ok, maybe those weren't so surprising. Let's look at the top three word mentions for each candidate among this small sample of all voters:
- Herman Cain: 1) "9-9-9" (42 mentions) 2) "Business/Businessman" (30 mentions) 3) "Interesting" (23 mentions)
- Rick Perry: 1) "Texas" (55 mentions) 2) "No" (16 mentions) 3) "Idiot/Idiotic" (15 mentions)
- Mitt Romney: 1) Mormon (60 mentions) 2) Healthcare/Romneycare (17 mentions) 3) Flip Flop/Flip Flopper (13 mentions)
The "No" to Rick Perry seems like the most puzzling response that's mentioned in the survey sample. Even if it is just an instinctual response from a few progressives who can't fathom another Texas governor in the White House ("Bush" was also mentioned by several people in the survey about Perry), "No" also shows up as the third most mentioned word about Perry among GOP-leaning respondents (behind "Texas," and "conservative").