Ron Paul Steady, Michele Bachmann Down in New GOP Gallup Poll

The top tier in the GOP primary battle may have shifted.

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Less noticed in the new 2012 presidential poll that pegs Texas Gov. Rick Perry in first place among announced GOP candidates, surging over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is fresh evidence that Rep. Michele Bachmann's popularity may be slipping, while Rep. Ron Paul's may be growing—or at least holding steady.

The Gallup poll, released Wednesday afternoon, validates the emerging narratives that Bachmann may have been a flavor of the month, and Paul may have staying power in the campaign. The two have flip-flopped since the same poll last month: Bachmann's score slipped 3 points to 10 percent, while Paul's grew 3 points to 13 percent. [Political cartoons on the 2012 GOP candidates.]

Before her July bump to 13 percent, Bachmann polled 7 percent in May and June. Paul's Gallup numbers have been a bit more consistent. He scored 12 percent in May and dipped to 8 percent in June before moving back up to double digits in July.

Perry's gains may be to blame for Bachmann's losses, however. As Danielle Kurtzleben reports, Perry's executive experience, job creation bona fides, and ability to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters may have lured support away from Bachmann and into the Perry fold.

Perry, who scored 29 percent, up from 18 percent last month, and Romney, who scored 17 percent, down from 23 percent last month, are still leading the pack. But the top tier may have shifted since Bachmann's victory at the straw poll in Iowa just a few weeks ago, when experts pegged the front-runners as Romney, Perry, and Bachmann, in that order.

Gallup polled Republicans and Republican-leaning independents between August 17 and 21.

In a Public Policy Poll, also released today, both Paul and Bachmann slipped among announced candidates as Perry took a strong lead in that poll with 33 percent. Bachmann led Paul in that poll 16 percent to 6 percent.

  • Read: Is Ron Paul a fringe candidate?
  • Who's in and who's out: A slide show of the 2012 GOP primary contenders.
  • Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP candidates.