Texas Governor Rick Perry has jumped to the head of the line of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination with support of 29 percent of self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide, according to a Gallup poll released this week. In the first Gallup survey taken since Perry entered the race, Perry toppled former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney from the front-runner position and left Romney with 17-percent support.

“Perry is a strong contender among key Republican subgroups,” the Gallup Organization said in commenting on the poll, taken August 7-21.  “Older Republicans and those living in the South show especially strong support for him, at or near 40 percent.  Conservative Republicans strongly favor Perry over Romney, but liberal and moderate Republicans support the two about equally.  Perry’s support is also above average among religious Republicans.”

Texas Congressman Ron Paul comes in third with 13 percent and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman is fourth with 10 percent, Gallup said.  None of the other declared candidates has more than four percent support in the survey.  Sarah Palin, the GOP candidate for vice president in 2008, pulls 11 percent when she is included in the poll questionnaire, Gallup said. Perry still leads the field with 25 percent, and Romney has 14 percent, when Palin is included.

Details of the survey are available at www.gallup.com.