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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 16, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life House lawmaker and Tea Party leader Rep. Michele Bachmann has vaulted to second place behind Gov. Mitt Romney (who is seen as the GOP establishment pick) after her debate performance in New Hampshire, according to a new poll.

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Rasmussen has released the first poll conducted after Monday night’s GOP debate at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, and reports that Bachmann has jumped to 19 percent support among likely voters – a substantial improvement from the single digit polling she has consistently held in previous polls. In fact, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released the day of Monday’s debate, showed the pro-life Bachmann with just three percent support among GOP faithful. Other polls ranked her no higher than 6 percent.

During the debate, Bachmann announced she was officially running for president, and stressed that she is “100 percent pro-life” without exceptions. (see story)

Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner, still leads with 33% support.

Although Romney stresses that he is now pro-life and pro-marriage, social conservatives have viewed his conversion on the abortion issue with some suspicion. They have also questioned his leadership as governor in handling the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that imposed same-sex “marriage” on the state.

Romney has also drawn fire over his defense of Commonwealth Care, a universal health care law he approved in 2007, which includes an individual mandate to buy private health insurance. 

The recent poll also gives hope to the campaign of Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and political newcomer. Cain, who is pro-life, took third place at 10 percent, raising his profile after his successful first GOP debate appearance in South Carolina.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been in the news after his senior campaign staffers resigned en masse before the weekend, showed well given the circumstances, at 9 percent.

Pro-life constitutionalist Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who received the most applause during Monday’s GOP debate, clocked in 7 percent support among those polled. Paul favors using Congress to repeal Roe v. Wade, by using their power in the Constitution to remove the federal court’s jurisdiction from state abortion cases. This solution, he argues, would allow the states to enact substantial pro-life protections for the unborn.

Rasmussen revealed that former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has further declined into obscurity among GOP voters, ranking with former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, at a dismal 6 percent.

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