) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry received wide support in a new poll on Wednesday that found the Texan ahead of President Barack Obama in the general election and as the frontrunner for the GOP race.


Washington Post/ABC News

poll found Perry led Obama among registered voters 47% to 46%, and it showed the Texas governor atop all GOP hopefuls with 29% of the vote from Republican voters.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Perry was expected to attend his first Republican debate on Wednesday night at the Reagan Library in Semi Valley, Calif., as the leading candidates prepared to discuss their views on jobs and the economy.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed Perry in the GOP poll with 23% favor among Republican voters, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had 14%, and Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) was fourth with 8% of the vote. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) mustered 6% of the vote just ahead of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who received 4%. The poll surveyed 1,001 adults via telephone from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1.

Perry has enjoyed a honeymoon of sorts with Republican and registered voters as he has

led GOP candidates for a month in almost every major poll. In the same period, Perry has led or tied Obama in

Rasmussen Reports




Wednesday night's


-hosted debate was originally slated to run at the same time as

Obama's major jobs speech to a joint session of Congress , but

House Speaker John Boehner recommended that the president reschedule for the following evening to "ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks."

Obama switched his speech to Thursday night at 7 p.m. ED, which comes after an

NBC News/Wall Street Journal

survey found Obama's approval rating had dropped to 44% -- his lowest ever -- and after Wednesday's

Washington Post/ABC News

poll showed his approval rating even lower at 43%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: