How would Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entrance into the presidential race affect Rep. Michele Bachmann’s chances of winning the 2012 Republican nomination?
A new Rasmussen poll of GOP voters released Tuesday shows that Bachmann could hold her own, as she finished in second place behind Romney. The former Massachusetts governor had 34 percent, followed by Bachmann at 27 percent and Perry at 26 percent.
Perry has yet to declare that he’s running for president in 2012, and his name won’t be on the Ames straw poll ballot later this month. But pundits have speculated that Perry could drain Tea Party support from Bachmann as she tries to position herself as the anti-establishment alternative to Romney.
In a two-way race, Rasmussen said it was a “virtual tie” between Bachmann and Romney, with Romney leading the Minnesota Republican by two points, 44-42. In at least one previous national poll, Bachmann has come out ahead of Romney.
When Bachmann and Perry were pitted in a head-to-head matchup, they each received 39 percent of the GOP vote.
Other candidates, such as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, were not included in the Rasmussen poll.