Perry Inches Closer to Romney in National Poll

Perry Inches Closer to Romney in National Poll

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - July 27, 2011

A Gallup poll released today shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry gaining on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Romney edges Perry, who appears poised to jump into the race, 17 percent to 15 percent, within the survey's margin of error. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin receives 12 percent support. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann tie for fourth place with 11 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 8 percent support. Businessman Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tie with 3 percent and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman round out the bottom with 2 percent each.

When Republicans and GOP-leaning independents were asked to choose a candidate from the list of announced candidates, 27 percent backed Romney and 18 percent supported Bachmann. Paul rounded out the top three with 11 percent support.

Perry, Palin and Giuliani have been toying with presidential runs, but Perry appears to be the closest of the three to entering the race. RCP reported earlier this week that Perry is considering a mid- to late-August campaign launch.

When Gallup tested how each unannounced contender would impact the race, Perry appeared to be the strongest alternative to Romney. Without Palin and Giuliani in the race, Romney leads Perry, 23 percent to 18 percent. Without Perry or Giuliani, he leads Bachmann, 23 percent to 16 percent, and Palin comes in third with 15 percent. And without Perry or Palin, he leads Bachmann, 23 percent to 17 percent. Giuliani finishes in third place with 14 percent support. In all three scenarios, Paul comes in fourth place with 9 to 10 percent support. Gingrich receives 5 to 6 percent, and Pawlenty, Santorum and Huntsman remain at the bottom with 4 percent or less.

Among conservatives, Romney and Perry tie with 18 percent support while Bachmann garners 13 percent. Giuliani takes the most support among moderates or liberals with 16 percent. Palin comes close behind him with 14 percent.

For this poll, Gallup surveyed 1,088 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents from July 20-24. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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