Rick Perry is no longer sitting so comfortably as the frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary, according to a Rasmussen poll released Wednesday.In the poll, Perry leads Romney 28% to 24%, barely outside the survey’s 3.0% margin of error. One month ago, before Perry entered the race, the Texas governor led Romney by an 11-point margin, 29% to 18%.
Perry has stumbled out of the gate since declaring his candidacy in August, turning in two shaky performances in nationally televised GOP debates. He’s been hammered repeatedly for his past support of a mandatory HPV vaccine, a position that fellow presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann branded Perrycare.
At the same time, Romney has tried to siphon off independent voters by presenting himself as the candidate best suited to taking on President Obama in the general election.
As Romney and Perry have risen in polls, they’ve stolen away support from the other candidates, making the race, at least for now, into a two man contest. Michele Bachmann, who over the summer had surged to the top of some polls, came in at 8% in the latest survey, just behind third place finisher Newt Gingrich’s 9%.
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