How strong is Texas Gov. Rick Perry's attraction to supporters of the Tea Party? Here's one impressive measure. Perry has support from a higher percentage of Tea Party backers than Rep. Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney combined.
A Gallup poll shows Perry with support from 35 percent of voters who identify themselves as Tea Party partisans. Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman, and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had 14 percent each.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who it's often said was Tea Party before the Tea Party was cool, came in at 12 percent.
Gallup's pollsters found 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents identifying themselves as Tea Party supporters.
The data also suggested that Perry has pulled supporters from both Romney and Bachmann, with more coming from Romney than Bachmann.
In Gallup's July measurement of Republicans' nomination preferences, before Perry officially entered the race, Romney held a slight edge over Bachmann among Tea Party supporters, 29% to 23%. Romney led Paul by 25% to 16% among nonsupporters.