) -- It's only his second week on the campaign trail, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry can now make a claim as the GOP's presidential frontrunner.

Perry has opened a large gap against declared and unannounced Republican presidential hopefuls in two national polls released on Wednesday that revealed double-digit percentage-point leads against the next closest candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Rick Perry



and Public Policy Polling surveys showed Perry with 25% and 27% of the popular vote among Republican-leaning voters.

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national poll, Romney fell to second with 14% of the vote while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (11%) and Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) (11%) were tied in the three slot. The same poll for July had Romney in the lead against Perry at 17% to 15%.

The Public Policy Polling result ended with Romney in second at 17% of the vote, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 13% and Michelle Bachmann at 10%. The survey involved 663 Republican primary voters nationwide polled between Aug. 18-21.

Gallup surveyed 1,040 Republicans and "Republican-leaning" independents nationwide.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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