WASHINGTON — Minnesota lawmaker Michele Bachmann, a favorite of the ultraconservative Tea Party movement, has surged to second place among Republican presidential contenders, a poll said Wednesday.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney remains ahead of the pack, but Bachmann has "zoomed into second place," more than doubling her support, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Romney led his Republican rivals with 25 percent support compared to 14 percent for Bachmann, 12 percent for former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and 10 percent for Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Quinnipiac University poll said.
A Quinnipiac poll last month gave Romney 25 percent, Palin 15 percent and Bachmann six percent.
Perry has not yet declared himself a candidate but his showing is "an indication he could be a serious contender should he run," Brown said.
As to Bachmann's potential, "the question ... is whether she is the flavor of the month, like Donald Trump was for a while, or does she have staying power," Brown stressed.
Democratic President Barack Obama continued to hold a strong lead against potential Republican candidates, the poll found.
The incumbent president would win 47-41 percent against Romney; 50-38 against Bachmann; 53-34 against Palin; and 50-37 against Perry, the Quinnipiac survey found.
The poll was carried out July 5-11 and surveyed 2,311 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.0 percent. The Republican primary included 913 voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.