Does Perry help boost Obama?

New polling by Public Policy Polling shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry moving into the frontrunner role for the Republican Party presidential nomination. A benefactor to the Perry surge could be President Barack Obama.

Obama leads Perry in a national PPP poll by a 49 percent-to-43 percent margin. The same polling has Obama tied at 45 percent with the former GOP race frontrunner, Mitt Romney.

“Rick Perry’s momentum in the Republican field is the best thing that’s happened to Barack Obama lately,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “The president would have an easier time winning re-election against him than Mitt Romney.”

A key reason: the conservative firebrand Perry fares poorly with independent voters, who view him negatively (29 percent approval, 55 percent disapproval). Obama as a result has a 56 percent-to-32 percent lead over Perry among independents.

The PPP poll had Obama leading Michele Bachmann by eight points (50 percent to 42 percent), Herman Cain by 10 points (49 percent to 39 percent), and Sarah Palin by 13 points (53 percent to 40 percent).

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