If Perry Jumps in, Romney’s Lead May Dissipate

If only announced candidates are included, Mitt Romney has a strong lead in the new Gallup poll of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents: he’s at 27 percent,  which places him nine percentage points ahead of the second place candidate, Michele Bachmann.

Throw Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, and Sarah Palin into the mix, and Romney’s support dives to 17 percent, with Rick Perry right at his heels with 15 percent. Bachmann also has a steep decrease, polling at 11 percent, which ties her for fourth place with Rudy Giuliani.

Full results for announced candidates poll: Romney (27 percent), Bachmann (18 percent), Ron Paul (11 percent), Newt Gingrich (7 percent), Herman Cain (5 percent), Tim Pawlenty (4 percent), Rick Santorum (3 percent), and Jon Huntsman (2 percent).

Full results for candidates and potential candidates poll: Romney (17 percent), Perry (15 percent), Palin (12 percent), Giuliani and Bachmann (11 percent),  Paul (8 percent), Cain and Gingrich (3 percent), and Pawlenty, Huntsman, and Santorum (2 percent).

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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