Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are the stars of a new Fox News poll released Wednesday evening, with Perry moving into second place behind Romney, and Bachmann close behind, having seen a precipitous rise in the polls over the past few weeks.
Romney led as the first choice of 18 percent of Republican primary voters, followed by Perry, who was named the first choice by 13 percent of respondents. Michele Bachmann got 11 percent, followed by Rudy Giuliani with 10 percent and Sarah Palin with 8 percent.
Bachmann has made a fast rise through the ranks; in the last Fox News poll conducted three weeks ago, from June 5-7, Bachmann was the first choice of only 4 percent of voters.
If Palin or Giuliani opt not to run, the standings remain the same. Romney, Perry, Bachmann, and Giuliani remain at the top if Palin is out, and Palin moves into fourth if Giuliani does not enter the race.
Bachmann seems to be in a good position as a number of people’s second choice, with 17 percent naming her as their second choice candidate. 18 percent named Romney, 10 percent named Palin.
But she also seems to have carved out a space for herself as something other than the alternative to Palin; Palin’s supporters split among various candidates if she doesn’t run, with no single candidate gaining more than one percentage point of support.
The poll was conducted by Anderson Robbins Research, a Democratic firm, and the Republican firm Shaw & Company Research. The results are based on a survey of a national sample of 912 registered voters conducted by land line phone interviews. The results discussed above are based on a subgroup of the sample of 324 GOP primary voters, and have a plus or minus 5.5 percent sampling error.