I wrote just last week that it was too soon to declare Rick Perry the new front runner in the race for the Republican nomination, but a week later things are starting to shape up well for him.Gallup polling dispels the idea that Perry cannot beat Barack Obama. They are tied among registered voters, which would more than likely put Perry ahead in likely voters. Mitt Romney still polls better against Obaam and has more money, but Romney also has higher name identification. Interestingly, as Perry’s name ID goes up, his favorable ratings go up too.Right now, though, the polls that matter are state by state polls.In Iowa, Democrat leaning PPP reports that Rick Perry is now in first place with 22% with Romney at 19%. More surprisingly, PPP polled on Sarah Palin’s effects in the race. Surprisingly, for both Romney and Perry a Palin candidacy was statistically meaningless — both only dropping a single point. Palin herself came in below Ron Paul. This suggests, more than anything, that it is time for Palin to fish or cut bait.PPP also reports that it will release a poll today showing Perry with a double digit lead nationally and, if it were a two man race, he’d be trouncing Mitt Romney with more than 50% of the vote. Lastly, PPP has a poll showing Barack Obama beating Perry, but by only six points. That’s actually not good for an incumbent President right now. Carter’s lead over Ronald Reagan’s at this point was double digits.All this suggests that Perry is rapidly becoming the front running and consolidating the lead. In this is also a problem. The attacks on Perry will no doubt escalate and come from all sides. There are six months to go so Perry will have to take a lot and risks the Democrats and media defining him early.Frankly, the media is going all out to prove it has a liberal bias disconnected from most Americans. From calling him a “human tornado” to working overtime to claim Perry had absolutely nothing at all to do with Texas’s economic boom — just like they’d have you believe Barack Obama has done nothing to keep the economy broken.Perry may be ascendent, but it is a long time still before we have a Republican nominee.