Candidates will fall by the wayside as the primary battle for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination gets under way. If the race were already down to just the three top candidates, Mitt Romney would still be just slightly ahead.
In a three-way race between Romney, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Texas Governor Rick Perry, Romney earns 34% of the vote, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters. Bachmann picks up 27% support, while Perry, the only one who has yet to formally declare he’s a candidate, gets 26%. Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here .)
The race is a virtual tie, however, if it’s a two-way race. In a showdown between just Romney and Bachmann, 44% of primary voters support Romney, while 42% favor Bachmann. The remaining 14% either like another candidate or are undecided.
Pit Romney against Perry alone, and the former Massachusetts governor earns 43% while the Texas governor gets 39%. Nine percent (9%) prefer another candidate, while another nine percent (9%) are undecided.