Poll: Perry maintains lead on eve of debate

The Texas governor also leads Romney on who the GOP electorate thinks is most electable: 42 percent of Republican voters believe he has the best chance of beating President Obama in the general election, while 26 percent believe Romney does. This indicates that attacks Romney or the other candidates make on Perry regarding electability could be a hard sell with the base.

When former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is added to the mix, Perry maintains his lead over Romney at 30 percent to 18 percent, with 15 percent for Palin and 12 percent for Paul.

The poll of 446 Republicans was conducted from Sept. 9-11, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

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