A new poll on Monday reaffirmed Mitt Romney's status as frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, just as the former Massachusetts governor and other candidates prepare for their first major debate.

Nearly a quarter of Republicans -- 24 percent -- named Romney as their candidate of choice to face off in the 2012 presidential election against President Obama, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. That's a seven-point bounce for Romney since late May, when Gallup last tested Republicans' preference for a nominee.