But will Perry himself tumble after widely criticized debate efforts? Let's check the new CNN poll.
The facts: 447 Republican registered voters, MoE 4.5. Mobile and landline telephone polling.
Reading the results, my immediate reaction is that there's no news here. At the top anyway, there's only statistical noise: Rick Perry is barely changed, going down to 30% from 32%. I show a 59% chance that there's real movement there, given then MoE of 4.5. Mitt Romney is up to 22% from 21%, which I only show a 54% chance of being real.
For comparison's sake, Perry's 8% lead I show as having an 81% chance of being an actual lead among Republicans.
But in the lower tier of candidates, two candidates have pulled themselves up above the Pauldoza line: Newt Gingrich who shows a sudden 4 point burst to 11%, and Herman Cain with a 3 point jump to 7%. Neither would have been above the last poll's showing for Ron Paul, but his six point collapse to 7% let them pull up above him.
I find it odd that Gingrich surges but Perry remains virtually constant. Could the debates be helping the former Speaker but not hurting the Texas governor? Or is this just a random blip in the radar? With a 5% chance of any result being outside of the Margin of Error, and so many candidates in every poll, flukes will happen. Only time and more polls will show us the truth.