By Dick Morris on September 19, 2011

After his bludgeoning in the Monday, September 12 GOP Debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry has lost more than half of his lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

In the CNN/Opinion Research and PPP surveys taken right before the debate, Perry boasted an average lead of 12.5 points (CNN had it 30-18 while PPP reported 31-18). But in the three surveys whose field dates included interviews that post dated the debate, Perry’s average margin closed to only 5.3 points (USA/Gallup 31-24, CBS/NYT 23-16, and Bloomberg 26-22).

Surprisingly, no other candidates moved much. Despite strong performances, neither Bachmann, Gingrich, Cain, nor Santorum moved up in the polls nor did Ron Paul drop after his hammering over his claim that the US brought 9-11 on ourselves.

Perry’s position as front runner makes him vulnerable to ganging up by the other contenders and his missteps on Social Security, immigration, and the Papalloma vaccine have made him even more so. After Thursday’s FOX News presidential debate, he and Romney should be about even – with Romney on the way up and Perry on the way down.

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