Perry’s most alarming area of under-performance is among evangelicals, a conservative faction squarely in Perry’s wheelhouse. This is a governor whose revival rally filled a Houston football stadium, who courts conservative bigwigs in language that reveals a Biblical fluency. Less than a week ago, a Perry supporter sparked a kerfuffle by suggesting that Romney, a Mormon, would not appeal to Evangelicals on the hunt for a true Christian candidate rather than an adherent to a "cult." And yet in TIME’s poll, Romney outperforms Perry among Evangelicals, leading Obama 51% to 39%. Perry leads Obama among Evangelicals as well, but by a slimmer 46% to 40% margin. That head-to-head deficit in a prime Perry demographic may underscore the degree to which his faltering performance has sowed doubts among potential supporters.