He may not have the national name recognition of Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry would find himself in the top tier of Republican presidential candidates if he decides to run, a nationwide poll released Tuesday showed.
The unannounced Republican governor came in third in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll with approval from 11 percent of likely GOP primary voters. He trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who took 30 percent of those surveyed and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann with 16 percent.
The new poll is in line with other recent surveys that show Perry in third place, and confirms that without the months of campaigning that other GOP hopefuls have already logged, he would enter comfortably in the top tier of candidates. That means he could pose a fairly immediate threat to the race's leading contenders.
A Reuters review of his recent financial support suggested that he'll have the donor base required to sustain a campaign. Texans for Rick Perry, a group unaffiliated with Perry, announced it had raised $2.1 million as of June 30. In the 10 years of his Texas governorship, Perry raised an average of about $10 million per year.