Tea Party Favorite: Rick Perry And 58% of Republicans and right-leaning independents like the Tea Party By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted Aug 27, 2011 5:27 PM CDT 134 comments Comments Republican presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a "Welcome Home Rally" at Abel's on the Lake in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas) (Newser) – Turns out that Rick Perry holds a substantial lead among Tea Party supporters. Here's the new Gallup breakdown: Perry holds the same 21-point advantage, 35% to 14%, over Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann among Tea Party backers. Also, 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents back the Tea Party. That combination that no doubt helped Perry take the lead among GOP supporters this week. (Among the 36% of who don't like the Tea Party, Perry and Romney are more or less tied.) In the August 17-21 Gallup findings, Perry also holds a surprising 25% to 19% edge over Romney among Republicans who say "business and the economy" is their main issue. That's surprising because Romney is a successful businessman who touts his business credentials. Less surprising, given Perry's lead among Tea Party supporters, is that Republicans who name "government spending and power" as the number-one issue prefer Perry over Romney, 31% to 17%.