Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a relatively late entrant in the 2012 presidential race, has more than doubled her support and is now in second place among the GOP hopefuls, according to a new poll.
Bachmann, at 14 percent, is second to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, 25 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Romney’s support has remained unchanged since June 8, but Bachmann has made significant gains of six percent.
In third and fourth place are former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (12 percent) and Texas governor Rick Perry (10 percent), respectively. Notably, neither Palin nor Perry has officially declared their candidacy, but they already have strong support from voters.
None of the other Republican candidates garnered double-digit support.
Businessman Herman Cain is at 6 percent, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul at 5 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 5 percent, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 3 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan all are at 1 percent or less.
Support for each of these candidates has actually gone down compared to the June 8 Quinnipiac poll, and that’s what makes Bachmann’s surge impressive. It also shows that her appeal is not limited to any particular region and she has struck a chord with national voters.
“The question about Rep. Bachmann is whether she is the flavor of the month, like Donald Trump was for a while, or does she have staying power?” commented Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Brown thinks that if Palin or Perry or both do join the race, Bachmann’s fortunes may get affected.
“All three of them are likely to appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party constituency,” he noted.
Considering that Perry was not included in last month’s poll and now sits pretty at number four is "an indication he could be a serious contender should he run," the Quinnipiac polling institute director highlighted.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama maintained a strong lead against each of his prospective Republican opponent.
The closest anyone comes to the Democratic president is Romney who trails him 47 to 41 percent. Against the rest, Obama draws 50 percent or more votes. He leads 50 to 38 percent against Bachmann, 53 to 34 percent against Palin, and 50 to 37 percent against Perry, the poll finds.
Quinnipiac University conducted the poll from July 5-11, 2011, surveying 2,311 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percent.