Rick Perry
Rick Perry closing lead on Mitt Romney Reuters

A new Gallup poll shows Perry trailing Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican front-runner, by 2 points, 17 per cent to 15 per cent. But the poll's 4-point margin of error puts the two in a statistical tie. Whilst Mitt Romney remains the man to catch in the polls but his lead is being seriously threatened by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The poll suggests that if Rick Perry or Sarah Palin entered the race, Mitt Romney would be in serious trouble.

"Perry appears to be the strongest potential challenger to Romney at the moment, given the results of these recomputed preferences, trailing Romney by five percentage points, compared with eight- and nine- point deficits for Palin and Giuliani, respectively. Perry is also the only one of the three late-deciders whose support numerically exceeds Bachmann's in these simulations," says Gallup.

Mitt Romney does lead amongst announced candidates with 27 per cent of Republican and Republican leaning independents said they would support Romney in a national election. However, when Palin or Perry is entered into the polls there is a different outcome. With both Rick Perry and Sarah Palin included in the polls Mitt Romney holds a 17 per cent - 15 per cent lead over Perry. Sarah Palin trails at twelve per cent but what must be stressed is that neither Sarah Palin nor Rick Perry has announced their candidacy. The latest Gallup poll will no doubt be worrying reading for Romney, who has campaigned for the best part of four years.

What Mitt Romney's lead in the polls say about him and his fellow candidates is obvious; the Republican voters do not think much of them. Mitt Romney is seen as the best out of a very poor amount of candidates and as soon as Rick Perry enters the campaign, Romney's support will be cut. The only saving grace for Romney will be the fact that he is expected to survive if the field is large. If Sarah Palin and Rick Perry stand, Romney could be given a lifeline.

The new Gallup poll shows that Rick Perry is not just a flash in the pan and he is gaining and taking away support from the other candidates. Rick Perry has a very large power base in Texas and his record speaks for itself. He managed to create jobs in Texas during a recession. The economy and the job market will be one of the main areas of the November 2012 election fight and Republicans must see the potential in Perry. Added to this, Rick Perry has support of both the establishment and the Tea Party movement. Rick Perry clearly has the support base now to enter the race for the Republican candidacy. The question still remains if he will.