Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the support of nearly one-third of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents and Michele Bachmann has fallen to her lowest level of support since June, according to a new national Gallup poll out Wednesday.
Another national survey from PPP Polling of usual Republican primary voters shows Perry at 33 percent and Bachmann at 16 percent, but the Texas governor continues to solidify his support among conservatives. Perry leads by 15 points among those described as “somewhat conservative,” clocking in at 38 percent. Bachmann’s number is 11 percent. Among ‘very conservative’ voters, the spread is 22 points: Perry at 40 percent to Bachmann’s 18 percent.
The surveys are the latest data points on a trajectory that saw Perry enter the race just recently and make a run for the mantle of apparent front runner, at least as far as most polls are concerned. In July, the first time Perry was included in the Gallup survey, his support registered at 18 percent. He now sits at 29 percent. In PPP polling, Perry was at 12 percent five weeks ago and has since climbed 21 points to 33 percent.
Bachmann’s trajectory, meanwhile, has been the opposite. While receiving 7 percent support in Gallup polls in May and June, her numbers jumped to 13 percent (and higher in other surveys) in July after she officially entered the race in June. Since her victory at the Ames straw poll — and Perry’s entrance into the race — Bachmann’s numbers have only tumbled as the conservative governor has stolen much of the thunder from Bachmann’s Tea Party-tinged, conservative campaign.
“There was some thought that Perry’s entry would actually help [Mitt Romney] because it would lead to a split in the conservative vote between Perry and Bachmann,” the PPP analysis notes, “but Perry is now winning those voters by such a wide margin that it doesn’t even matter.”
That dynamic was spelled out at the state level in a PPP survey published Tuesday of Iowa Republicans that also showed Perry registering strong support overall and among Tea Party or very conservative Republicans, notably including a 10-point spread within this subset over Bachmann herself.
For the rest of the field, the challenge according to the latest Gallup survey is to catch Perry. Mitt Romney finds himself in second place at 17 percent, down from his high in June of 27 percent. Ron Paul sits in third place at 13 percent, his strongest showing since registering 12 percent in June. In the PPP survey, Romney is at 20 percent and Paul at 6 percent
The margin of error for the Gallup poll is +/- 4 percent. For PPP it is +/- 3.8 percent.