Rick Perry zips past Mitt Romney in the polls

The latest national Gallup poll shows Rick Perry has opened up a 12-point lead over Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential race. Ron Paul is also gaining ground.

Richard Shiro/AP
Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, with his wife Anita, gives a thumbs up to supporters in Greenville, S.C.

America, you have a new GOP frontrunner: Rick Perry has roared to the front of the GOP presidential field, according to the latest Gallup poll.

In only a short few weeks since the Texas governor announced his candidacy, Perry has gobbled up former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s lead in the national polls and then some, opening up a 12 percentage point advantage.

Not only that: Perry leads Romney among conservatives by a 33-16 margin, among all categories of church goers (even those who rarely, if ever, attend), and among all age groups. The only geographic grouping where Romney prevails is in the east, and even there he is ahead by a single percentage point.

(And don’t look now, but Texas Congressman Ron Paul has overtaken Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for third place.)

Isn’t this just another tick in the horse race? Why are you telling us this, Decoder?

A campaign narrative can change in a flash. The open question with Mitt Romney was whether his slow, steady and largely silent campaign were keeping him above the fray or just lowering his profile. Now, it looks like it prevented him from putting down deep roots with Republican voters, who are, at least for the moment, flocking to the swaggering Texan.

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