Rick Perry Leads GOP 2012 Pack in New Gallup Poll

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) reports: After just one week on the campaign trail, Rick Perry jumped to the front of the Republican pack in a new Gallup poll released today, ahead of frontrunner Mitt Romney by 12 percent.

Of 1,040 polled Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 29 percent said they would likely support Perry as their party’s nominee, while only 17 percent said they’d pick Romney.

This is a change from July’s Gallup poll which indicated Romney was in the lead with 23 percent of Republicans’ support while Perry, who was undeclared at the time, garnered 18 percent in the poll.

The poll released today was conducted between August 17 and August 21, just days after the Texas governor made his candidacy official, the results of the Ames Iowa Straw Poll were announced, and Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race.

Trailing behind Perry and Romney in the August Gallup Poll are Ron Paul (13%), who jumped ahead of Michele Bachmann (10%), Herman Cain (4%), Newt Gingrich (4%), Rick Santorum (3%), and Jon Hunstman (1%).

If you throw potential candidates Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani into the mix, Perry and Romney remain on top with 25 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Palin ties Paul with 11 percent of supporters, followed by Giuliani at 9 percent and Bachmann at 7 percent.

Perry’s emergence as the leader in the Gallup Poll after only days of campaigning shows the potential vulnerability of Romney’s “frontrunner” status, and the Texas governor’s entrance into the 2012 race also seemed to overshadow Bachmann’s straw poll win in Ames, as the Minnesota congresswoman did not receive any boost in the August Gallup poll.

The Texas governor officially entered the race Aug. 13 in Charleston, South Carolina, after months of consideration. In the first eight days of campaigning, he barreled through three key early states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina – and ended the tour in Texas, holding a total of 23 events over the course of the week.

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