Michele Bachmann Surges Into Second Place*

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Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Who says debates don't matter? Following her standout performance in Monday's New Hampshire debate, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann has rocketed into second place behind Mitt Romney in the latest primary poll by Rasmussen. Bachmann received 19 percent support to Romney's 33 percent, while the rest of the field lagged far behind.

*Now for the caveats! It's certainly possible this result is an outlier. Rasmussen isn't exactly known as the most accurate polling outfit around. And Sarah Palin, who presumably appeals to many of the same tea party voters as Bachmann, wasn't included in the poll. In comparison, in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last night, which did include Palin, Bachmann pulled in only 3 percent — less than Rick Santorum! But that poll was conducted before Monday's debate, whereas the Rasmussen poll was conducted the day after the debate. In short, there's really too many variables at play to know for sure how legitimate Bachmann's surge really is, and we're sorry for wasting your time.

Romney, Bachmann, Cain Lead The Pack Among GOP Primary Voters [Rasmussen]