AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry holds a 15-point lead over U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, while Tea Party activist Debra Medina is continuing to gain ground and may be wresting support from Hutchison, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.
With a month to go before the March 2 primary, Perry leads Hutchison 44 percent to 29 percent, while Medina has 16 percent, pollsters said.
Medina gained 4 percentage points since the polling company's previous survey while Hutchison dropped 4 points, according to the survey of likely Republican primary voters. Perry's support has seen no significant change over the last month, pollsters said.
The statewide telephone survey was conducted Monday and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Medina, a former Wharton County Republican Party chairwoman, has watched her support grow from 4 percent in November, partly on the strength of her performances in two debates. Her emergence from early obscurity has raised speculation that she could force the two leading contenders into an April runoff, but Medina's aides insist that she is setting her sights on victory.
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