Even as Texas Gov. Rick Perry sees his own support falter, Michele Bachmann — the candidate Perry is most blamed for slowing down with his entrance into the race in August — has not seen her own support rebound, a handful of recent polls released since Monday show.
Perry, whose rise from post-Iowa Straw Poll entrant to undisputed front-runner was matched only by his recent decline, has seen his support fall in state and national polls. Where the Texas governor was once rallying conservatives and garnering support numbers ranging from the mid-20s to low-30s, he now finds those figures more than cut in half.
But that has not been enough to rekindle the fervor that once surrounded the Bachmann campaign. Since joining the race in June and enjoying a quick rise through her victory at the Iowa Straw Poll, Bachmann has become mired in continued staff shakeups and persistent reports of fundraising trouble.
Instead, businessman Herman Cain has emerged as the star candidate of the week, seeing a boost in polls that has coincided with the Perry decline. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has also seen his support rebound somewhat.
A new national poll from the Washington Post puts Bachmann’s support among those who lean Republican at just 4 percent. In the same poll, Perry and Cain are tied at 14 percent with Mitt Romney at 21 percent. A survey following the Republican Party of Florida’s debate put Bachmann at 3.4 percent. In that survey, Romney garnered 28 percent support, with Cain at 24 percent, Gingrich at 10 percent and Perry at 9 percent.
Other state-level data seem to confirm the Bachmann campaign’s lack of traction. Three new surveys of North Carolina, West Virginia and Nebraska from Public Policy Polling released Tuesday showed similarly weak numbers for Bachmann, ranging from 6 percent in North Carolina to 10 percent in Nebraska. Notably, Bachmann’s 10 percent in Nebraska finds her tied with Perry, while her 6 percent in North Carolina ties her with Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
In all three states, Cain is now in the lead, with support ranging from 24 percent to 30 percent. Likewise, Gingrich is in second or tied with Romney for second in all three. Perry, meanwhile, has fallen to either third or fourth in the new state polls.
As the PPP analysis notes, recent polling data show the race for the GOP nomination at a particularly volatile stage — particularly with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s announcement Tuesday that he would not enter the race.
But PPP also finds a potential silver lining for both Bachmann and Perry in the resurgence of Cain and Gingrich in the race.
“What they show is that just because you decline in the polls doesn’t mean you can’t come back,” the analysis says. “You can be the flavor of the week twice.”