Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney has been the frontrunner in most national polls of the GOP primary over the last year, and the general punditry considered it his nomination to lose, at least at first. And while it’s still early, new polling released on Wednesday shows his unchallenged time at the head of the pack may be over.
A new national Gallup poll of GOP and GOP-leaning voters shows Romney, who had more than a quarter of the total vote in Gallup’s June numbers in the same poll, has fallen to 17 percent, while newly minted candidate Tex. Gov. Rick Perry surges to 29 percent and the lead. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), considered a top contender, falls to fourth with 10 percent, behind Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) at 13 percent. The rest of the field is in single digits.
Public Policy Polling (D) also came out with a national poll of GOP voters on Wednesday, which showed similar results. In that survey, Perry leads with 33 percent in the field of announced candidates, followed by Romney at 20 percent and Bachmann at 16. The rest of the field in that poll were also in single digits.
Both polls showed Perry’s favorability ratings are very high among Republican primary voters. Gallup recently published “positive intensity scores” on the GOP field (a metric that measures strong favorability against strong unfavorability), which show Perry as the highest rated of the GOP major contenders, although less known. In the PPP poll, Perry registered a 64 percent favorablility rating against 17 unfavorable, a number that reflected findings in another PPP poll released Tuesday of Iowa GOP voters.
The Gallup poll included live telephone interviews conducted from August 17th to 21st with Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, and has a sampling error of four percent. The PPP national poll used 663 automated interviews conducted from August 18th to the 21st with GOP voters, and has a sampling error of 3.8 percent.
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Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.