Washington (CNN) - As Rick Perry moves closer and closer to a run for the White House, a new national survey indicates that the longtime Texas governor is close to the top of the pack in the hunt for the Republican presidential nomination.
According to a CNN/ORC International poll, 15 percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP pick Perry as their first choice for their party's nomination, just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's making his second bid for the White House. Romney's two point margin over Perry is within the survey's sampling error.
Read full results (pdf).
The poll's Thursday release comes two days before Perry gives a speech at a major conservative gathering in South Carolina where he is expected to announce his run for the White House. Later in the day Perry travels to New Hampshire to meet with GOP lawmakers, activists, and voters. Perry's travels Saturday come as the rest of the political spotlight will be shining on Iowa, for a crucial presidential straw poll in Ames. Perry heads to Iowa Sunday to speak at a Republican party gathering, which means he will visit three of the crucial early voting primary and caucus states this weekend.
The survey indicates that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who is making his third bid for the White House, are at 12 percent apiece. While both Giuliani, who ran for the presidency four years ago, and Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, have flirted with bids, neither has taken concrete steps towards launching a campaign.
According to the poll, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has the support of seven percent, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at five percent, both former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain and former Utah Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at four percent, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at two percent. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan both register at less than one half of one percent.
If the choices are pared down to exclude Giuliani and Palin, Romney remains at the top of the list, with 23 percent, followed by Perry at 18 percent and Paul at 14 percent. The survey indicates Bachmann at nine percent, Gingrich one point back, Cain and Huntsman at five percent, Pawlenty and Santorum at three percent and Johnson and McCotter both registering at less than one half of one percent.
According to the poll, the GOP candidates and potential candidates match up differently against President Barack Obama in hypothetical 2012 general election showdowns. Giuliani has a 51-45 percent advantage over Obama among registered voters, while Romney matches up evenly against the President - 49 percent for Obama and 48 percent for Romney. But the survey indicates Obama appears to have a slight edge over Bachmann (51-45 percent) and Perry (51-46 percent) and Obama has a lead over Palin (55-41 percent).
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International on August 5-7, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
Read an opinion article about Perry's run for the White House here.
His wackjob preachers from his pray-in are being shown on TV. This guy is dangerous and delusional. Those bones will soon fall out of the closet with him to doom his campaign. He will play the victim card like Snookie Palin and Bachmann.
Oh yeah, 30,000 people from all over the country came over to pray for him so now his god, of course his god, says that he is it.
BTW secessionist, did you pray for rain too? Still didn't work, you idiot!
A Bush clone and a bible thumper.... Keep Jesus out of the White House.
I believe ANY new Republican candidate would rank above the existing ones so the poll results are meaningless. Give that new candidate a couple weeks, however, and the voters will be eagerly awaiting another one.
OMG!!! Really? I guess given the slim pickings they have, anyone will do. LOL
I really don't think Americans are ready for anyone out of TEXAS to get near the Presidency ever again!!!
This guy is so incompetent that Texas would probably favor the President over the this teatard in a head to head matchup. He actually makes our current Worst President Ever, GWB, look like Einstein by comparison. Perry is a corporatist cult zombie through and through, and his fiscal mismanagement has bit Texas to the tune of $23 BILLION!
If Perry wins the nomination, then people will see what is wrong with him and how he has run Texas. We don't need another crispy Christian conservative from Texas. We had so much in the way of problems with the last one. If I wanted a governor of Texas to be president, I would have chosen Ann Richards (who passed away I'm sorry to say) who understood the issues that are important to people.
Great, our Guvyner is going to run for pres. and our state is on the verge of collapse. Perry, you need to get to Texas and take care of what you were elected for; farmers, ranchers, foresters need help; this drought is killing us and you, Rick, are galavanting around like a houston debutante the day of the ball
Do some research on N.A.R - we don't need a stinking theocracy in this country - a group of people who THINK they are modern-day apostles chosen by god to rule family, corporations, stock markets, military, etc.
It's time to put an end to these hypocrits that pray in public (fake christians). God said go into a closet and pray. God said go into a closet to do your alms.
THESE PEOPLE ARE FALSE PROPHETS THAT WILL DESTROY US.
New CNN Poll: Perry near top of pack in GOP nomination battle
But ONLY after all other candidates has “rustled in his cattle”
Then he stands there on a podium with his hands lifted in PRAISE
Remember how the RIGHT “taunted” Obama as being “the ONE” – now who’s on the stage??
What pisses me off the most about the so-called “Evangelicals?”
They think they are the holiest but end up being the most “cynical.”
NO ONE else in the world is capable of leading this land
You cannot be an atheist, Muslim, a Jew or even a Black man!!
Notice all of the pictures of Perry – Is he “blessing” his peasants?
PLEASE take Religion out of POLITICS – Pray privately – we’re all different!
So what youre really saying is that Ron Paul in within 5% of the lead – even in one of the fake polls.... which means he's probably actually in the lead.
Is he trying to land, take-off, or stabilize himself?
Nothing like a Chrishun thief with lots of bravado to make the GOPTea crowd think they are on to something special.
Perry will announce and I fully expect him to win the republican nomination. He's got exactly what middle of the road and far right republicans want, he's a bible banger, anti-choice, anti-gay and pro gun. He'll talk the talk all day long and the republicans, at least the more extreme, will fall in behind him in lock-step. Almost saviour-like, republicans will think he has the best shot at getting the black man out of their "white" house. Fortunately moderates and democrats recognize him for what he is and give the president another four years.
All hat no cattle.lol man these right wingers are crazy.