Tales from the Trail

Rick Perry lags in home state of Texas

January 18, 2012

Tuesday only got worse for Texas Governor Rick Perry whose comments about Turkey in a debate last night got him lambasted by foreign policy experts, the Turkish press, and the Turkish government in Ankara.

Perry, the longest serving governor in Texas history, polled only third in a survey of his fellow Longhorn Republicans, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Less than a fifth of those polled by the Democratic polling firm, Public Policy Polling said they would choose Perry over his rivals. He lagged frontrunner Mitt Romney  as well as former Speaker of the House Gingrich.

Romney polled at 24 percent and Gingrich at 23 percent, compared to Perry’s 18 percent.

Perry’s conservative credentials once endeared him to Republicans looking for a candidate other than Romney, suspected of moderate leanings. He shot to the top in August when he first entered the race but fell back after consistently fumbling debates and interviews.

“Republicans aren’t simply looking at which of these candidates most ideologically is appealing to them. They’re really focused on who has the political skill set that they think will be required to beat Obama,” said Thomas Hollihan, an expert in political campaigns at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School School for Communication and Journalism. “Perry’s performance in the debate suggested that he just wasn’t a very capable candidate. That probably more than anything else drove his support down.”

Perry’s national favorability rating is 7.0 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.com.

Photo credits: REUTERS/Chris Keane (Perry waves after speaking in Myrtle Beach, SC);  REUTERS/Jason Reed (Perry at a campaign stop in Bluffton, SC)

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/