Rick Perry Still on Top

Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images

Rick Perry delivered a shaky debate performance last week and unexpectedly lost the Florida GOP Straw Poll, but the first poll conducted after his rocky weekend shows the Texas governor still leads the Republican field.

In a CNN/ORC International Poll conducted between Friday and Sunday, Perry came out on top, with 28 percent of Republicans and independents saying they support the Texas governor.  Perry was followed by Mitt Romney at 21 percent. Newt Gingrich rose to third in the poll, garnering 10 percent while Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Sarah Palin each received 7 percent. Rounding out the bottom of the pack were Michele Bachmann at 4 percent, Rick Santorum at 3 percent and Jon Huntsman at 1 percent.

Without Palin in the mix, Perry’s stock rose slightly, taking in 30 percent of support while Romney received 22 percent and Gingrich received 11 percent.

The poll also tested hypothetical two-way matchups between the candidates and President Obama. It revealed that Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe Romney is the best matchup against Obama, with a nearly even race – 49 percent for Obama and 48 percent for Romney.  However, over Perry Obama holds a 5-point margin 51 percent to 46 percent.

Perry fumbled through Thursday’s debate and drew heat for his defense of in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants in Texas, but the biggest blow to Perry’s campaign came when he lost the  Straw Poll Saturday, which he had invested resources in and was expected to win.

The phone poll was conducted from Sept.  23-25 with 1,010 adults, including 447 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. The margin of error was 3 points.