Texas Gov. Rick Perry trails 2012 GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney by just four percentage points among Republican voters nationwide in the latest presidential poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports. That’s pretty impressive when you consider Perry hasn’t even announced his candidacy … and is battling rumors regarding his sexuality.
Romney remains the leader of the Republican field, drawing the support of 22 percent of likely Republican voters in this survey, but Perry (18 percent) and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (16 percent) are nipping at his heels. Also, Romney’s early support is clearly beginning to erode. In a Rasmussen survey six weeks ago, Romney enjoyed the backing of 33 percent of likely GOP primary voters – easily outdistancing Bachmann’s 19 percent support.
While Romney is slipping, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman can’t seem to catch fire. Pawlenty received the support of just 3 percent of likely GOP primary voters in the latest Rasmussen survey, one point better than Huntsman.
Of particular interest in this poll, 39 percent of GOP primary voters nationwide identified themselves as members of the Tea Party, while another 17 percent said they weren’t sure if they were a part of the movement.
Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 likely GOP primary voters nationwide on July 28. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
In early-voting South Carolina, Romney holds a nine-point lead over former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin according to the latest polling.