Rick Perry On The Rise Before He Even Enters The Race

He's not in the race (yet), but Rick Perry is already a top-tier 2012 candidate.

By all accounts, Texas Governor Rick Perry will be entering the race for the GOP Presidential Nomination sometime within the next several weeks after a spring in which he had ruled out the idea, followed by an early summer when Republicans began to turn to him in the realization that the viable conservative alternatives to Mitt Romney were, well, a little nutty and very unprepared for the Presidency.  There were many who thought that candidate would be Tim Pawlenty, but he’s failed to break out of single digits in the polls, doesn’t come across well on the stump, and just hasn’t been an effective or combative campaigner. Mitch Daniels didn’t run, neither did Haley Barbour or Mike Huckabee, and Jon Huntsman seems unlikely to break out of the single digits. Instead, those hoping for an alternative to Mitt Romney are faced with the prospect of the likes of Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, neither of which has any realistic possibility of winning a General Election if, by some bizarre chance they managed to win the *nomination. Given all of that, it’s not surprising that eyes turned quickly to the 10-year Governor of Texas, who has Executive experience, contacts within the Republican establishment, and appeal to the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

That’s why it isn’t surprising that, even before Perry enters the race, he’s already a top-tier candidate:

As Texas Gov. Rick Perry comes closer and closer to jumping into the race for the White House, he’s also close to the top of a new national survey in the battle for the GOP presidential nomination.

A CNN/ORC International Poll released Friday indicates that 14 percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP pick Perry as their first choice for their party’s nomination, just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House. Romney’s two point margin over Perry is within the survey’s sampling error.

According to the poll, both former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are at 13 percent. While both Giuliani, who ran for the presidency four years ago, and Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, have flirted with bids, neither has taken concrete steps towards launching a campaign.

The survey indicates that Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has the support of 12 percent, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who’s making his third run for the presidency, at eight percent, and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain at six percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at four percent, with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at three percent, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at two percent, and former Utah Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at one percent. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan both register at less than one half of one percent.

According to the poll, Perry appears to be changing some GOP minds.

“In May, 50 percent of Republicans said that they did not want Perry to throw his hat in the ring; now, 50 percent say they would welcome a bid by Perry,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Results are similar in a new Fox News Channel poll:

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney still leads the race for the Republican nomination — but just barely, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.

Romney’s support among GOP primary voters has dropped 6 percentage points in recent weeks, from 23 percent in early June to 17 percent in the new poll, which asked about announced and potential candidates.

Close behind Romney is undeclared candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry at 14 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann comes in at 10 percent — up from 4 percent in early June.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Texas Rep. Ron Paul all receive 9 percent. Giuliani and Palin have not declared their candidacy.

Businessman Herman Cain comes in at 5 percent. All others receive less than 5 percent.

Primary voters were also asked about their second choice candidate. If Giuliani doesn’t run, his backers mainly would go to Romney and the shape of the race would look about the same. If Perry decides against running, his supporters for the most part would split between Bachmann and Romney. And Palin backers go many different directions, though mainly split between Romney, Paul and Perry.

The CNN and Fox News polls aren’t directly comparable because the FNC poll does not include Sarah Palin (interesting, huh?). I’m also dubious about including Rudy Giuliani in these polls because, frequent comments from him and others notwithstanding, I just don’t believe that Giuliani is going to run, or that he’d be a real factor in the race if he did. Nonetheless, it’s fairly clear that, should he pull the trigger and run, Perry will come into the race with quite a solid backing of support in the polls as well as the backing of fundraising people eager to see the Michele Bachmann’s of the world displaced.

Will the Perry boomlet, which is starting before he even starts campaigning, last or will he peak early? That remains to be seen but I think what we’ll see at least in the beginning is a race with Romney, Bachmann, and Perry at the top and everyone else below them in either the low double digits or single digits. Absent a mis-step by one of those three, that could be race all the way into the start of the primaries in February 2012, and that would be very interesting to watch

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Boyd says:

    My bold prediction is that Perry will enter the race and win the GOP nomination. I don’t think he’d have a realistic chance of winning the general but for the President’s penchant for missteps while governing (not while campaigning). So I predict a real horse race next fall between Obama and Perry, with the economy being the deciding factor as to who wins.

    You heard it here first. Unless, of course, you’ve already heard it somewhere else. In that case, nevermind.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Frankly, most of the field hasn’t caught any interest. Pawlenty, a presumptive frontrunner, has gone nowhere.

    So, that means we’re left with Romney, who most of us view as competent, if generic and unexciting, or someone from the fringe like Bachmann. Perry is still largely unknown outside Texas but presumed to be a Real Conservative and someone who would be more charismatic than Romney.

  3. Boyd says:

    Regardless of where they stand now, stood in the past or will stand in the future, I believe Perry will be viewed as more conservative than Romney, which will be Romney’s downfall. Winning in Massachusetts as a Republican effectively disqualifies him from the GOP presidential race, IMHO.

  4. hey norm says:

    Perry’s a religious freak…as nutty as Bachmann…but better at hiding it. If Obama’s preacher was an issue Perry has got some really serious issues.
    His biggest claim to fame is jobs – which came largely from raiding other states with promises of corporate welfare. It’s one thing for Texas to steal jobs from California, or Washington. How does that work when you are President of the entire country?
    How he manages to play the secession issue will be something to watch.

  5. WR says:

    Republican cadidates are always on the rise until they actually get in the race. How many dark horse candidates have we been told were going to be huge? And then they turn out to be Fred Thompson or Herman Cain.

    Perry’s going to be an interesting one, though, especially if anyone troubles to ask him why he uses the state to murder innocent men falsely accused of crimes, and then covers it up.

  6. ponce says:

    Because if there’s one thing Americans agree on, it’s that we need another 8 years of George W. Bush!

  7. hey norm says:

    Perry is a Texas (southern) Governor though…not to be taken lightly in US Presidential contests.

  8. Wayne says:

    Perry seems like a good candidate to me. Not perfect by no means. Who is. It would be interesting if Barbour and Christy would change their minds. I generally like governors who have executive experience over Senators. I do like Rubio though but being a first year Senator gives me pause.

    I like to use primaries as a way to vent candidates. I am not one for falling in love with a candidate from the get go and backing them no matter what or backing one because they are an early top contender in the polls.

  9. PogueMahone says:

    My liberal friends here in Texas loathe Perry and they fear swarms of locusts should he be the GOP frontrunner. I’ve told them to relax. If your goal is to see Obama reelected, then Perry winning the nod should be viewed not as a pestilence, but a miracle instead.

    Here we have spoiled fruit from the rotten G.W. tree who recently suggested the State of Texas might should succeed. Game, set, match.

    And he’s a douchebag to boot.

    No worries.

    Cheers.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Nothing is game, set or match with 9% unemployment and a terrible right track/wrong track number.

    So far I’m not seeing anyone point to anything that will bump off Perry. Religious nut? Sure. So are all Republicans and most Americans.

    He’ll have money and he has a sort of charm. He’ll quickly knock off Bachmann who is just the rage-o-holic’s place holder.

    I predicted long ago that if he got in he’d move immediately to top tier. I suspect Boyd is right and he takes the nomination.

  11. WR says:

    @Wayne: How do you feel about him executing a man for arson based on fraudulent testimony, then covering it up?

  12. Rick Perry has stated that he believes homosexuality should be a felony. So at least in my case, his winning the GOP nomination would make Obama the small government candidate in 2012, being that he’s not trying to specifically send me to prison.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just what we need: another Republican Governor from the great State of Cesspoo…. ooops, I mean Texas (and for the record, as a born and bred Texan I get to insult it as much as I want)(especially now that my dear old Momma is gone (may she rest in peace) and can’t box my ears with every Texas joke I tell)

    We still haven’t recovered from the last one!

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Rick Perry has stated that he believes homosexuality should be a felony.

    Stormy, I can’t quite recall the particulars, but wasn’t it sodomy he was so against?

  15. PogueMahone says:

    @michael reynolds: I see your point, Mr. Reynolds, but Perry is just not the man.

    With 9% unemployment and the like, the GOP could not only have a fighting chance, but could be the odds on favorite. But they don’t.
    And Perry, with all of his southern charm, simply has too much baggage.

    People will look at him and see Bush. And that just simply won’t do it as Obama still maintains a strong likability rating. And as we all know, it all comes down to a popularity contest.

    Cheers.

  16. ponce says:

    Perry is a Texas (southern) Governor though…not to be taken lightly in US Presidential contests.

    But his twang makes him unelectable.

    Perry is just a dumber, meaner W.

  17. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Perry-Rubio. Perry-Portman. Perry-Kasich. Perry-Toomey. Perry-Scott. Even without a further deterioration in the job markets any of those tickets would pose a grave threat to Rambobama and the media-union-academia cabal.

    If the country had a clue we’d be looking at a Reagan-Carter redux. Keep in mind the job markets are far worse today than they were in 1979-1980. It’s not even close. Housing is much worse. Reported inflation is more tame, but actual inflation is comparable. It really is a nightmare out there on Main St.

    On the other hand, Team Rambobama will spend over a billion dollars next year in attack ads. Then on top of that there’s the impact of favorable mass media coverage for Rambo versus negative coverage for whomever the GOP nominates. Generation Y is so idiotic it defies words. Blacks of course will vote 90-10 for Rambo, at the minimum. Soap opera women will vote for Rambo. Felons. Malcontents. Flakes. Drug addicts. Multi-millionaire liberals. Dead people. Union punks. Mental patients. Senile FDR voters. So on, so forth.

    It’ll be a close contest. That alone tells you how far the country has fallen.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II: Actually if the American people had any sense they’d be whipping Republicans through the streets. The GOP is sick, dangerous and un-American. Disgusting.

  19. An Interested Party says:

    Perhaps the election will be close, as there will be many groups who will be only too happy to vote for Perry or whatever other loon escapes successfully from the Republican pack…foolish old Teabaggers who want the government to keep its hands off their Medicare, poor uneducated crackers who actually believe that the GOP has their best interests at heart, racists, bigots, Hillbilly Heroin addicts, neo-Birchers, greedy fat cat millionaires who want to make sure to keep their tax cuts and get even more, scared working class people who think that the blacks and the Mexicans are sucking up all their tax dollars, crazy Birthers, and people with short-term memory loss who forget what the last Texas governor who occupied the White House did to screw this country over royally…

  20. jukeboxgrad says:

    As a couple of people have pointed out, Perry resembles GWB in too many ways (although probably not quite as personable and charming). If the GOP really thinks this is OK, they might as well just run Jeb.

    I still say the nominee will be Palin.

  21. An Interested Party says:

    I still say the nominee will be Palin.

    The President can only hope…

  22. anjin-san says:

    How do you feel about him executing a man for arson based on fraudulent testimony, then covering it up?

    If he is poor, black, or both it is not really a negative in today’s GOP.

  23. Kev says:

    Hey Interested Party, it’s kind of hypocritical for you to mention the word ‘crackers’ a few words before the word ‘racist’; not to mention the implication that all Republicans/whites are racist. Unfortunately, this is the vernacular adopted from the left media. Don’t listen to biased media and start generalizing; do your own research and you just may be able to make your point without being guilty of doing the very thing that your point implicates concerning Republicans..or ‘crackers’. Not being rude here but the interpretation from your post could easily include the following: All Republicans are white and racists (while also calling whites ‘crackers’ after you just accused them of being racist…wtf). This is the brainwashing effect from the extreme left media. I was really hoping people were finally catching on; perhaps I am hoping in vain.

  24. jukeboxgrad says:

    not to mention the implication that all Republicans/whites are racist

    Nobody said that. He said that one component of the “Republican pack” is “poor uneducated crackers.” What’s the problem? There is indeed a group of people who are fairly described as “poor uneducated crackers,” and they do indeed tend to vote R. And they are a large enough group that the GOP has deliberately courted them. These are just facts. Link, link.

  25. An Interested Party says:

    Actually, Kev, what I wrote was a bit of satire directed at the horse$hit written by Tsar Nicholas II…see how easy it is to negatively caricature the groups which make up the base of a political party?

  26. Kev says:

    I must say, I appreciate your mature reply; wish more people could discuss/debate things this way. (No sarcasm here).

    The ‘Tzar Nicolas II’ post mentions absolutely nothing racist, etc., though. It is true that the majority of African Americans will vote for Obama just because he’s half black-i understand the excitement and hopes for African Americans but where’s the fairness and equality in voting on the account of race? Isn’t that what many great Americans have been fighting for…equality? And if you think he was implicating that ‘flakes, malcontents, and drug-addicts’ were African American (which it’s clear he was not implicating that) then perhaps (at risk of sounding rude here)that’s merely what was salient in the front of YOUR mind.?

    Admittedly, I can see where it’s possible for one to inadvertently be sort-of primed into thinking he was being racist, etc., if they were reading fast and saw the word ‘black’ right before reading the rest. Seriously,re-read it slowely and honestly.

    Don’t get me wrong, it gets under my skin (even more so) when Republicans (and/or whites) generalize, etc. It just further convinces the common ‘everyday citizen’ that Republicans and whites are, in fact, all racist.
    However, in my experience it’s just not true.

    Nevertheless, the media has been successful at spreading this nonsense and it usually starts all because of 1 (or a few) out of millions of people was racist and did something idiotic.

    Anyway, I’m just saying..the Tsar Nicolas II post was not saying/implicating racism at all; any race can be a ‘flake, malcontent, and drug-addict, etc.; but ‘cracker’ pretty much singles out one race. I just see those from the center to left jump immediately to the race-card the second someone holds a different view as if it has almost become 2nd nature in this country.

    Further, this racism and racism-card is destroying and dividing people and we as a country keep allowing a few in any group to screw everything up for the majority. This happens in all races, groups, etc. Just to quickly add here…college textbooks are also teaching students that ‘white people are racists’ (not a few or some…it implies all…it is racist/stereotyping to imply that ALL whites are racists); it also illustrates whites as skin-head rebel flag wearing racists while portraying other races as good, innocent, and can’t-do-no-wrong.

    Little known to the rest of the U.S., in San Antonio, Texas white and black people are the minorities and many of the Hispanics are openly racist toward white and black people; it’s common for whites and blacks who can speak/understand Spanish to overhear some Hispanics talking about them in Spanish, etc. I’ve experienced it myself on numerous occasions-not to mention that we get stared at and doors closed in our faces by the person entering a building 2 ft. ahead of us…so it’s not only some whites who are racists. I’d venture to say every race has some bigots. So, I hope you’ll excuse me for being a little jumpy about this topic but this reverse racism in this country has just gone too far and we all need to open our eyes a bit and try to restrain from knee-jerk assumptions, etc. I had someone open my eyes to it and I wish I could do the same for others.

  27. Kev says:

    I must say, I appreciate your mature reply; wish more people could discuss/debate things this way. (No sarcasm here). I understand it was sort of a way to throw it back…However,
    the ‘Tzar Nicolas II’ post mentions absolutely nothing racist, etc., though. It is true that the majority of African Americans will vote for Obama just because he’s half black-i understand the excitement and hopes for African Americans but where’s the fairness and equality in voting on the account of race? Isn’t that what many great Americans have been fighting for…equality? And if you think he was implicating that ‘flakes, malcontents, and drug-addicts’ were African American (which it’s clear he was not implicating that) then perhaps (at risk of sounding rude here)that’s merely what was salient in the front of YOUR mind.?

    Admittedly, I can see where it’s possible for one to inadvertently be sort-of primed into thinking he was being racist, etc., if they were reading fast and saw the word ‘black’ right before reading the rest. Seriously,re-read it slowely and honestly.

    Don’t get me wrong, it gets under my skin (even more so) when Republicans (and/or whites) generalize, etc. It just further convinces the common ‘everyday citizen’ that Republicans and whites are, in fact, all racist.
    However, in my experience it’s just not true.

    Nevertheless, the media has been successful at spreading this nonsense and it usually starts all because of 1 (or a few) out of millions of people was racist and did something idiotic.

    Anyway, I’m just saying..the Tsar Nicolas II post was not saying/implicating racism at all; any race can be a ‘flake, malcontent, and drug-addict, etc.; but ‘cracker’ pretty much singles out one race. I just see those from the center to left jump immediately to the race-card the second someone holds a different view as if it has almost become 2nd nature in this country.

    Further, this racism and racism-card is destroying and dividing people and we as a country keep allowing a few in any group to screw everything up for the majority. This happens in all races, groups, etc. Just to quickly add here…college textbooks are also teaching students that ‘white people are racists’ (not a few or some…it implies all…it is racist/stereotyping to imply that ALL whites are racists); it also illustrates whites as skin-head rebel flag wearing racists while portraying other races as good, innocent, and can’t-do-no-wrong.

    Little known to the rest of the U.S., in San Antonio, Texas white and black people are the minorities and many of the Hispanics are openly racist toward white and black people; it’s common for whites and blacks who can speak/understand Spanish to overhear some Hispanics talking about them in Spanish, etc. I’ve experienced it myself on numerous occasions-not to mention that we get stared at and doors closed in our faces by the person entering a building 2 ft. ahead of us…so it’s not only some whites who are racists. I’d venture to say every race has some bigots. So, I hope you’ll excuse me for being a little jumpy about this topic but this reverse racism in this country has just gone too far and we all need to open our eyes a bit and try to restrain from knee-jerk assumptions, etc. I had someone open my eyes to it and I wish I could do the same for others.

  28. Kev says:

    I must say, I appreciate your mature reply; wish more people could discuss/debate things this way. (No sarcasm here). I understand it was sort of a way to throw it back…However,
    the ‘Tzar Nicolas II’ post mentions absolutely nothing racist, etc., though. It is true that the majority of African Americans will vote for Obama just because he’s half black-i understand the excitement and hopes for African Americans but where’s the fairness and equality in voting on the account of race? Isn’t that what many great Americans have been fighting for…equality? And if you think he was implicating that ‘flakes, malcontents, and drug-addicts’ were African American (which it’s clear he was not implicating that) then perhaps (at risk of sounding rude here)that’s merely what was salient in the front of YOUR mind.?

    Admittedly, I can see where it’s possible for one to inadvertently be sort-of primed into thinking he was being racist, etc., if they were reading fast and saw the word ‘black’ right before reading the rest. Seriously,re-read it slowely and honestly.

    Don’t get me wrong, it gets under my skin (even more so) when Republicans (and/or whites) generalize, etc. It just further convinces the common ‘everyday citizen’ that Republicans and whites are, in fact, all racist.
    However, in my experience it’s just not true.

    Nevertheless, the media has been successful at spreading this nonsense and it usually starts all because of 1 (or a few) out of millions of people was racist and did something idiotic.

    Anyway, I’m just saying..the Tsar Nicolas II post was not saying/implicating racism at all; any race can be a ‘flake, malcontent, and drug-addict, etc.; but ‘cracker’ pretty much singles out one race. I just see those from the center to left jump immediately to the race-card the second someone holds a different view as if it has almost become 2nd nature in this country.

    Further, this racism and racism-card is destroying and dividing people and we as a country keep allowing a few in any group to screw everything up for the majority. This happens in all races, groups, etc. Just to quickly add here…college textbooks are also teaching students that ‘white people are racists’ (not a few or some…it implies all…it is racist/stereotyping to imply that ALL whites are racists); it also illustrates whites as skin-head rebel flag wearing racists while portraying other races as good, innocent, and can’t-do-no-wrong.

    Little known to the rest of the U.S., in San Antonio, Texas white and black people are the minorities and many of the Hispanics are openly racist toward white and black people; it’s common for whites and blacks who can speak/understand Spanish to overhear some Hispanics talking about them in Spanish, etc. I’ve experienced it myself on numerous occasions-not to mention that we get stared at and doors closed in our faces by the person entering a building 2 ft. ahead of us…so it’s not only some whites who are racists. I’d venture to say every race has some bigots. So, I hope you’ll excuse me for being a little jumpy about this topic but this reverse racism in this country has just gone too far and we all need to open our eyes a bit and try to restrain from knee-jerk assumptions, etc. I had someone open my eyes to it and I wish I could do the same for others.

  29. Kev says:

    Sorry…using my phone; didn’t mean to post that 3 times.

  30. An Interested Party says:

    Actually, Kev, what I think he was doing was trying to disparage the Democratic Party by using lurid, negative descriptions to characterize the groups that make up the base of that party…by the way, I read quite closely, thank you, as I wasn’t making any kind of judgment on whether or not I think he is a racist…

    I just see those from the center to left jump immediately to the race-card the second someone holds a different view as if it has almost become 2nd nature in this country.

    Oh, some on the right can do the same thing…

    …college textbooks are also teaching students that ‘white people are racists’ (not a few or some…it implies all…it is racist/stereotyping to imply that ALL whites are racists); it also illustrates whites as skin-head rebel flag wearing racists while portraying other races as good, innocent, and can’t-do-no-wrong.

    Could you provide links which show examples of that?

    Finally, of course all ethnic groups have their share of bigots…anyone would be a fool to argue otherwise…