In South Carolina, Mick Likes Rick
Scott Rasmussen offers us some data indicating that you can snub the Ames Straw Poll and not only live to tell the tale, but prosper in the Hawkeye State after all: “Confirming a surge seen in polling across the nation, Texas Governor Rick Perry has moved into first place among Republican voters in Iowa, host state to the first-in-the-nation caucus early next year. A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of those likely to participate in the Iowa GOP Caucus shows that Perry is the first choice for 29%. Essentially tied for second are Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 18% and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 17%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul picks up 14% of the vote, and nobody else currently reaches the five percent (5%) mark.”
Meanwhile in South Carolina, Perry had a bit more good news: “U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina is backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential bid and will advise the Republican on economic issues. Mulvaney said Monday he would join Perry’s White House bid and says Perry has a record that has cut spending and has balanced budgets. Mulvaney announced his support after a tea party-backed forum that Perry skipped to tend to wildfires raging in his home state.”
The Scared Monkeys conclude, “Nationally, Rick Perry has a near double digit lead over his GOP Presidential primary challengers; however, in the primaries its all about how candidates do in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. Obviously, Romney leads in NH, he better. If you are the former governor of a sister New England state, if Romney does not win NH, he is finished. However, what if Perry comes in second in the Granite state primaries, wins Iowa as he leads in to the above poll and runs away with the South Carolina primary . . . Perry is in a great spot at this point. Let’s see how he does in this week’s GOP Presidential primary debate.”
Ah, yes, that debate. If you step into a debate the frontrunner, you can expect everybody’s attention and all of your rivals’ fire coming at you. Also, while most Republicans have probably caught a few words or a quick interview of Perry, the upcoming debate will probably be their first sustained exposure to the governor. The pressure’s on.
McClatchy newspapers reports: “Perry has brushed up on research, met with experts and gone through at least one mock debate to prep for Wednesday’s prime-time match-up at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., according to his campaign team . . . Perry, who entered the race on Aug. 13, has campaigned heavily in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — states that hold early contests — by touting Texas’ robust economic growth, denouncing intrusive federal policies and assailing Obama’s economic track record. Judging from his performance in the polls, the message is resonating with a large swath of voters, and Perry will presumably hope to further spotlight those themes during his coming-out debate in California . . . Nevertheless, the tightly scripted debate format will also force Perry to constrict his talking points while moderators and Republican rivals exploit possible weaknesses. Rival campaign operations have conducted extensive opposition research into Perry’s nearly 11-year record as Texas’s longest serving governor, the fruits of which may become more evident Wednesday night.
One more thought: between Rick, Katy, and Tyler, this is clearly the year of Perry. Somewhere, Luke, Matthew, and William the Refrigerator are looking around and saying, “Yes, this is a good year for a comeback.”
I wonder who played Perry’s rivals in that mock debate . . .