A total of three unique pollsters have confirmed Rick Perry’s somewhat immediate ascension to the top of the 2012 Republican field at a double-digit lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.


Both Gallup and Rasmussen, independent polling outfits, and Public Policy Polling, a partisan Democratic polling outfit, all find Perry with a similar lead.

Report from Gallup:

PRINCETON, NJ — Shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans’ current favorite for their party’s 2012 presidential nomination. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%.

These results are based on an Aug. 17-21 Gallup poll, the first conducted after several important events in the Republican nomination campaign, including the second candidate debate, the Iowa Straw Poll, and Perry’s official entry into the race after months of speculation.

Romney and Perry essentially tied for the lead in late July, based on re-computed preferences that include the current field of announced candidates. Gallup’s official July report, based on the announced field at the time and thus excluding Perry, showed Romney with a 27% to 18% lead over Michele Bachmann. Romney enjoyed an even wider, 17-percentage-point lead in June over Herman Cain among the field of announced candidates (Gallup did not include Perry among the nominee choices before July).

Report from Rasmussen:

Texas Governor Rick Perry, the new face in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has jumped to a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann with the other announced candidates trailing even further behind.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary voters, taken Monday night, finds Perry with 29% support. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, earns 18% of the vote, while Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who won the high-profile Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday, picks up 13%.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who was a close second to Bachmann on Saturday, has the support of nine percent (9%) of Likely Primary Voters, followed by Georgia businessman Herman Cain at six percent (6%) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with five percent (5%). Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, and ex-Utah Governor Jon Huntsman each get one percent (1%) support, while Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter comes in statistically at zero.

Report from Public Policy Polling (PDF File):

Raleigh, N.C. – Before Rick Perry’s sudden emergence, there had been several presidential candidates this year who momentarily captured the imagination of the right wing—first Donald Trump in March, then Herman Cain in June, then Michele Bachmann in July. But not even Trump so quickly and decisively turned that into an actual lead in a PPP national poll of Republican primary voters.

Perry gets a full third of the GOP’s support, 13 points ahead of Mitt Romney’s 20% and Bachmann’s 16%. Everyone else has really settled into the background, with Newt Gingrich at 8%, Herman Cain and Ron Paul at 6%, Rick Santorum at 4%, and Jon Huntsman at 3%. Bachmann is down five points from a lead last month; Romney holds his ground, and Perry is up 21 points. If Sarah Palin jumps into the race, it would knock
Bachmann to fourth at 10% behind Perry’s 27%, Romney’s 17%, and Palin’s 13%.

Perry has sucked the air out of the room for Michele Bachmann and is increasingly threatening to continue eroding Mitt Romney’s support.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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