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Gallup poll: Bachmann moves up, Pawlenty stays put

The latest numbers from Gallup deliver more good news for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann -- who speaks at the National Press Club Thursday -- and more bad news for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Among declared candidates, Bachmann is supported by 18 percent of Republican voters, according to the national poll, which was conducted July 20-24. That puts her second behind frontrunner Mitt Romney.

In June, Bachmann was supported by only 7 percent of Republican voters. Since then, her poll numbers have risen to 18 percent, largely on the strength of her performance in the New Hampshire debate according to Gallup.

"Most other candidates' support has held steady or shown a slight decline since June," pollsters said.

Meanwhile, Pawlenty is supported by 4 percent of Republican voters. That number is in line with other recent national polls, which are especially useful when it comes to fundraising and building visibility among voters.

Though Pawlenty has campaigned doggedly, he's had trouble expanding support among conservative voters, and it appears the recent poll numbers only underscore his challenge.

Bachmann could lose support if Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are thrown into the mix.

None of the potential candidates have declared their candidacy, but any could shake up the field if they do, especially for Romney. For instance, if Perry decided to enter the race, he'd come in at a close second behind Romney with 18 percent of Republican support. In that case Romney's support would decline from 27 percent to 23 percent.

Bachmann is the featured noontime speaker at the National Press Club on Thursday, where she's expected to talk more about her candidacy for president.

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