Perry Leads Romney in Gallup Nationwide Poll

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 20, 2011 | 10:47 AM EDT

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands with Texas Gov. Rick Perry at GOP debate, Sept. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry led former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 7 points in a nationwide USAToday/Gallup poll conducted Sept. 15-18 and released today.

The poll of 439 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, which had a margin of error of +/-6 points, showed Perry ahead of Romney 31 percent to 24 percent.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas placed third at 13 percent.

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain tied for fourth place with 5 percent.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum at 2 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 1 percent rounded out the field.

In a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Aug. 4-7—before Aug. 13, when Perry entered the race and Bachmann won the Iowa Republican Party straw poll—Romney led Perry 24 percent to 17 percent. In that poll, Paul was third with 14 percent and Bachmann was fourth with 13 percent.

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