Here’s the key number that everyone is missing from today’s Gallup poll:
30% of Romney supporters said they were certain to support him; no chance they’d change. 52% of Palin’s supporters said that.
There’s no reason to believe that other pollsters would find a contrary result. What these numbers tell you is that Mitt “peacetime” Romney’s support is softer than LeBron James in the fourth quarter. These numbers suggest that there is a wide opening for both Pawlenty/Huntsman to take a good chunk of Romney’s support whereas there pretty much is no room for Bachmann to operate.
There’s a strong argument to be made that what Palin is getting right now as a non-candidate who nobody believes is running is her floor and what Romney is getting right now post-announcement speech is pretty much his ceiling. The fact that a paltry 30% of his supporters are committed to voting for him suggests that his already low ceiling will crash once Pawlenty/Huntsman inevitably rise in the polls.
The fact that CNN found that she received a bounce that was effectively equal to the bounce Romney received from giving a formal announcement speech is extremely encouraging.