Thanks to his disastrous performance in last week’s debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has fallen behind Mitt Romney in the latest poll of likely voters in the GOP presidential primary. The Fox News poll released Wednesday shows Perry with 19 percent, behind Romney with 23 percent. Herman Cain is third with 17 percent. The poll’s margin of error is ± 3 percent. From The Houston Chronicle:
While one poll isn’t a trend and it will take additional polls to confirm the findings, the results seem to indicate that Perry’s poor debate performance may have done more damage to the Perry campaign than originally thought.
Perry has attempted to mitigate the damage from that debate by claiming that he is truer to conservative principles, even if Romney is the more avuncular debater.
As part of that damage control effort, CNN reported that Perry has also participated in telephone-townhalls with conservative activists in Iowa and South Carolina, where he again tried to explain his positions on immigration, border security and the controversial HPV vaccinations that he mandated.
To top it all off, Perry told a conservative blog earlier today that he may have been over the top in his description of critics of the Texas DREAM Act, walking back from his earlier comments at the debate where he said that critics of the program did not “have a heart.”
Read the full poll results here.
UPDATE: Perry is also now fourth in a poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers, behind Romney, Michele Bachmann and “undecided.”