Aided by strong tea party support, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has surged in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, pushing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney into second place and significantly diminishing the once rising star of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The Texas governor, who announced his candidacy three weeks ago, is now perceived by Republicans to be the best candidate to beat President Barack Obama. The findings come just before the first Republican debate for the Texas governor. The candidates will debate tonight at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.
Among all Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, Perry edges ahead with 27 percent of the vote, followed by Romney with 22 percent, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 14 percent, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, with 8 percent and Bachmann at 6 percent.