Perry leads first GOP primary poll since Ames

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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In the first national polling done since the major shake-up in the presidential race this weekend – with Rick Perry entering, Michele Bachmann winning the Ames Straw Poll, and Tim Pawlenty dropping out – a Rasmussen poll released Tuesday finds Perry leading the field by a healthy margin.

Perry gets 29 percent of the vote in the poll, topping second place Mitt Romney by over 10 percent; Romney draws 18 percent of the vote. Michele Bachmann takes third place with 13 percent, and Ron Paul gets nine percent.

It is worth noting that candidates regularly see a boost in their popularity following an announcement – whether or not that bump lasts is open for question.

The Texas governor also drums up the most enthusiasm. 38 percent of likely Republican primary voters say they have a favorable opinion of him, and 31 percent have a somewhat favorable opinion of him. 32 percent say they have a very favorable opinion of Bachmann, while 39 percent say they have a somewhat favorable opinion of her. Only 21 percent say they have a very favorable opinion of Romney, while 56 percent have a somewhat favorable opinion.

Members of the tea party are far more supportive of Perry than Romney, who was formerly the obvious frontrunner, a position Perry seems to have usurped, for now, at least. People who say they are members of the tea party overwhelmingly support Perry – giving him 39 percent of the vote. Bachmann jumps to second place with 21 percent, and Romney falls to 9 percent, behind Ron Paul, who gets 11 percent.

Perry also leads with those who are not members of the tea party, getting 27 percent, but Romney is a very close second at 24 percent. Among this group, Michele Bachmann’s support falls to 11 percent. (WATCH: Candidate Rick Perry’s inaugural 2012 video)

The poll is based on automated telephone surveys of 1,000 likely Republican primary voters on August 15.