Michele Bachmann has worked hard to court the Tea Party vote -- even founding the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives long before she decided to run for president. But among Tea Partiers, she's old news. Bachmann's newest 2012 rival, Rick Perry, now has more than double the support among the activist group as she does. It's another sign Bachmann may have peaked way too soon with her win two weeks ago at the Ames, Iowa straw poll.
A Gallup poll released Friday shows Perry with 35 percent of Tea Party supporters. Bachmann has just 14 percent of the activist group's supporters, tied with establishment fav Mitt Romney. Perry wins among Republican voters most concerned with social issues (38 percent), despite Bachmann's long history of fighting for conservative Christian causes. He also wins solidly among those who think government spending and power is the most important issue facing the country.
The Hill's Michael O'Brien writes, "The results suggest that Perry has emerged as the favorite of Tea Partiers, mostly opposite Bachmann, who's aggressively courted the support of those grassroots conservative voters in her bid for the presidency." That's unfortunate for Bachmann, for whom anti-establishment activists are crucial. Evidence keeps piling up that we've passed peak Bachmann.