Republican presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a… (Michael Thomas / Associated…)
Michele Bachmann may be the head of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, but Rick Perry is the "tea party’s" presidential favorite, according to a new Gallup poll.
Thirty-five percent of Republican voters who support the tea party movement told Gallup last week that they prefer Perry out of a field of eight GOP presidential contenders. By comparison, just 14% favored Bachmann.
The poll was conducted Aug. 17-21 and has a margin of error of four percentage points. It’s the same poll that showed Perry with a considerable lead over the rest of the GOP presidential field among all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
As Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones points out in an analysis of the poll results, more than half – 58% -- of the Republican and Republican-leaning independents who were surveyed said they were supporters of the tea party movement. Within that group, about 12% said they were “strong” supporters. Those “strong” supporters prefer Perry by an even wider margin – 46%, compared with16% who prefer Bachmann.
Bachmann has long associated herself with the tea party movement. The Minnesota congresswoman founded the Tea Party Caucus back in July 2010. At the invitation of the Tea Party Express, an influential group within the movement, she delivered a rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address last January.
Yet Bachmann tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for second place among tea party supporters in the new Gallup poll. In July, before Perry had entered the race, Gallup found that Romney had a slight lead over Bachmann – 29% to 23% -- among tea party Republicans.