Poll: Perry new Republican frontrunner

Aug. 17, 2011 at 3:32 PM
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ASBURY PARK, N.J., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the current frontrunner in the Republican race for U.S. president, a poll indicates.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed likely Republican primary voters Monday night, two days after Perry formally entered the race for the GOP nomination and after U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's first-place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll. Almost three out of 10, 29 percent, of those surveyed supported Perry, 18 percent former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 13 percent Bachmann, R-Minn.

No other candidate broke out of single digits, with Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who has a firm base of hardcore libertarians, coming in fourth with 9 percent.

"Governor Perry is enjoying a bounce from entering the race at precisely the right time," Scott Rasmussen said. "Now the difficult part begins for the new frontrunner. It's much easier winning support when people are hoping you will get in the race, than retaining support when you are the frontrunner."

Romney led a Rasmussen Reports poll two weeks ago with 22 percent of the vote, followed by Perry at 18 percent and Bachmann at 16 percent.

In the most recent poll, 39 percent of the likely primary voters who described themselves as Tea Party members supported Perry to 21 percent for Bachmann. Among non-Tea Party Republicans, Perry led Romney 27 percent to 24 percent, while Romney formerly held a double-digit lead in the group.

Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 likely primary voters. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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