Rick Perry has had an eventful four days. On the heels of his official announcement, first appearances as a candidate seeking the GOP nomination and even his first splash with a controversial position, Perry has impressed a lot of Republican voters: a new national Rasmussen survey has him taking the lead in the GOP primary, far outside the margin of error.
The poll shows that Perry is now the first choice of 29 percent of the GOP voters surveyed, with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney with 18 percent, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in third with 13 percent. As with any nomination process, state polling in the first contests will be of the most importance. But Perry’s surge past the rest of the field is remarkable: by contrast, Bachmann showed more and more strength in national polls as her campaign ramped up, but only overtook Romney in one poll, by a single point.
As for the rest of the field, Rep. Ron Paul registered 9 percent, businessman Herman Cain got 6 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 5 percent, along with former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. who got 1 percent each.
Perry has jumped eleven points in the last two weeks, as the previous Rasmussen GOP primary survey had Romney at 22 percent, Perry at 18 percent, and Bachmann at 16 percent, suggesting that he’s drawing supporters away from both of those candidates. Two polls from last week, one from Fox News and another from CNN had shown Romney with a small lead.
The new Rasmussen poll used automated telephone interviews with 1,000 likely GOP primary voters on August 15th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
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.