Just days after announcing his candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has jumped into first place in the race for the Republican presidential nomination and now has a double-digit lead over former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who had been the GOP's perceived front-runner, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.
Perry has 29 percent support, while Romney has 18 percent. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the winner in Iowa's much-watched Republican strawpoll on Saturday, was third with 13 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who was a close second in the straw poll, was fourth in the Rasmussen survey with 9 percent.
After entering the race on Saturday with a speech to conservative bloggers in Charleston, S.C., Perry has been campaigning vigorously in Iowa, bashing President Obama's policy and touting Texas' nation-leading record of jobs creation. Iowa is a traditional launching pad for presidential contender, conducting the first in the nation caucuses.
Although 16 percent remain undecided in the Rasmussen survey, pollster Scott Rasmussen said Perry's ascent into the lead "marks a significant jump in support" for the Texas governor, who has been edging toward a race for weeks.
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Perry's announcement wrested attention from the popular straw poll in Ames, Iowa, and immediately shook up the GOP nomination fight.
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