The Texas governor leads the former Massachusetts governor by a 31 percent-to-24 percent margin, results of the Gallup-USA Today poll released Tuesday indicated. The two were well ahead of the remaining GOP field, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas garnering double-figure support, picking up 13 percent.
Gallup said Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and businessman Herman Cain were tied at 5 percent. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania received 2 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman had 1 percent. "Other" received 4 percent.
Perry also leads Romney, 49 percent to 30 percent, when Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were asked which candidate they would prefer if the nomination battle is between those two, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.
Romney edges out President Barack Obama by 49 percent to 47 percent in national registered-voter preferences for the November 2012 election, while Perry trails Obama, 45 percent to 50 percent. Gallup said neither Romney nor Obama was ahead by a statistically significant margin.
Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews with 1,004 people conducted Thursday through Sunday. The margin of error for the total sample is 4 percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of 889 registered voters is 4 percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of 439 Republican and Republican-leaning independents is 6 percentage points.