Just days after Rick Perry formally entered the Republican presidential race, he holds a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll
The nationwide poll of 1,000 likely Republican voters, conducted on Monday, finds the Texas governor with 29 percent support. That’s well over the 18 percent who back Romney, previously the GOP front-runner to challenge President Barack Obama’s biggest challenger.
“Governor Perry is enjoying a bounce from entering the race at precisely the right time,” said pollster Scott Rasmussen. “Now the difficult part begins for the new front-runner. It’s much easier winning support when people are hoping you will get in the race, than retaining support when you are the front-runner.”
Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann, who topped Saturday’s Iowa Straw Poll, was next with 13 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who came in a strong second in the straw poll, had the support of 9 percent.
Businessman Herman Cain grabbed 6 percent in the Rasmussen survey, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got 5 percent. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman got 1 percent apiece, while Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter came in statistically at zero.
Meanwhile, 16 percent said they were undecided.
Perry won 39 percent of the vote among Republican primary voters who identify themselves as tea party members. Bachmann came in next, with 21 percent.
Romney does better among non-tea party Republicans, where 24 percent back him, compared with 27 percent for Perry. In the past, Romney held a double-digit lead over Perry among this group.
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