POLL: PERRY Leads GOP Field in FLORIDA – RealClearPolitics –
By Kyle Adams – September 15, 2011
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has surged into a lead over his GOP rivals in the key state of Florida, according to a new poll.
The poll, conducted by Insider Advantage for the Florida Times-Union, shows Perry leading the field with 29 percent support. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney comes in second with 20 percent support. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is a distant third with 9 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has 8 percent support, businessman Herman Cain has 6 percent, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 5 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum garners 2 percent support, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman rounds out the field with just over 1 percent.
After entering the race in August, Perry has surged into the lead nationally and in several key states, including Iowa.
The poll was conducted the day after the Republican candidates debated in Tampa, Fla. Perry came under heavy fire at the debate from his GOP rivals, who went after him over his comments about Social Security, illegal immigration and his effort to require that young girls in Texas be vaccinated against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus. However, the poll indicates that the criticism hasn’t prevented the Texas governor from establishing himself as the front-runner in a state that could be crucial, if not decisive, in the GOP presidential race.
Romney led Perry by seven points in a Mason-Dixon poll taken in the days after Perry announced his presidential bid last month.
The Insider Advantage poll was conducted on Sept. 13 among 456 likely GOP primary voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.