Is the Perry boom over?

posted at 9:40 pm on September 22, 2011 by Karl

That’s the question being asked in advance of tonight’s nationally televised GOP debate in Orlando, FL. Most of the people asking think the answer is yes. I still do not think the race is greatly influenced by debates few watch, based on the current polling numbers.

Take a look at the interactive graph on the GOP campaign at RCP. Rick Perry zooms upward and reaches a peak of 31.8% on Sept. 12. On that date, the prior frontrunner, Mitt Romney, is at 19.8%. Today, Perry stands at 28.4%, while Romney is at 20.6% Perry has dropped 3.4% from a peak; Romney has gained less than 1% during the period. Indeed, if you study the graph a bit closer, you will notice that Perry and Romney will occasionally rise and fall together, based on which polls are in the mix at a given moment.

Of course, the campaign ultimately does not depend on these national numbers. In Florida, the site of tonight’s debate, one might hypothesize that Romney’s attacks on Perry over Social Security would be particularly salient. But the recent Florida polls show about the same results as the national numbers: Perry drops 3, Mitt gains 2, with Perry +6 overall. Perry is fourth in New Hampshire, but those a head of him — Romney, Huntsman and Paul — are probably better fits for that state ideologically or regionally (Romney also leads big in Connecticut). In South Carolina, Perry leads, with roughly the same amount of support since the end of August, but Romney has gained more than he has nationally (it would be interesting to tote up how much time each has spent in-state this month). In the bellwether state of Missouri, Perry leads by 16 points. In the purplish state of Virginia, Perry leads by 6 points.

In sum, Perry’s trendline is no longer a hockey stick. On the other hand, Romney has not gained much during the period. What this tells us is that Perry is not the second coming of Reagan… but we all knew that from the start, didn’t we? The basic dynamic of the campaign remains largely unchanged. Perry could end up not wearing well with the electorate. But the conventional wisdom is rushing to that conclusion faster than the numbers warrant.

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Is it over? Hell, no!

honsy on September 22, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Um No.

andy85719 on September 22, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Well, at least “Person of Interest” seems to be a good new TV series.

aigle on September 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Oh, the New York Times tells us which Republican candidate “wears well” with us. Nice. No Joe Scarborough quotes? The man supported Charlie Crist, you know. Genius.

Marcus on September 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM

One can only hope. He changes his policies and views more than any other candidate with less conservative cred also.

HellCat on September 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Nope, he can beat Obama easily. Still won’t vote for him because we’ll have amnesty underneath him with the projected RINO’s and Dems in his first two years of office.

MadDogF on September 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Probably. He’s not articulate. I’d like someone who’s articulate who’s not Romney. **** that guy.

El_Terrible on September 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Virtually every politician polls the strongest when first introduced to the public. A few months ago Michele Bachmann was polling well.

The more voters learn about a candidate, the more they see the warts and flaws that every politician has. Perry’s two biggest warts are illegal immigration and crony capitalism. The question is are they malignant?

bw222 on September 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I have Romney Derangement Syndrome.

El_Terrible on September 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Perry will be numero uno with our guests who can vote.

He is an idiot.

IlikedAUH2O on September 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM

People said that there was no way McCain would get the nod last time. Romney sucks but the Rinos are underestimated at our peril – not there’s.

abobo on September 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Perry’s not my favorite candidate, but I’d feel a lot better voting for him than Romney. Romney just gives me the feeling that he feels the nomination is his by virtue of some right or entitlement. It’s like he deserves it and the rest of these interlopers are trying to steal it from its rightful owner.
And maybe that’s Perry’s appeal; he’s not Romney but he’s got a lot of Romney’s experience and credibility.
Problem is, he’s got a lot of scabs and warts and boils of his own to deal with!

Lew on September 22, 2011 at 10:12 PM

My teachers: I don’t find Mitt or Perry all that great. Worse. We deserve better.

Perry attacked Brewer’s immigration law. I couldn’t believe it.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/29/texas-governor-arizona-immigration-law-right-texas/

The same source sent me another decision by Perry that was just as dumb as the forced injections. You guys get all these weird posts since I have libs on one side and conservatives with IQs of 180 on the other. People wonder why I’m nuts.

IlikedAUH2O on September 22, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Sorry to say, but Teh Rick is finished.

BJ* on September 22, 2011 at 10:20 PM

It is here. Still would vote for him though.

paul1149 on September 22, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Perry’s been disappointing so far in tonight’s debate. This Republican presidential field is turning out be kind of depressing so far. Obama is so ripe for defeat.

gumble on September 22, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Perry’s not finished. It’s too early to count him out. Polls aside, it’s too early to make any definitive forecast regarding outcome. Nothing is certain.

Another point: one of the best things about the Perry candidacy is that it’s forcing Romney to fight, to get down in the dirt instead of playing that forever above the fray shtick he was doing at first.

troyriser_gopftw on September 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM

I won’t vote for Romney. He has the spine of an earthworm. God save the USA if it’s Obama versus Romney.

Montjoie on September 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No. Was it over when he said that stupid heart thing? Yes.

The Mega Independent on September 22, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Is the Perry boom over?

That depends on how many voters are watching tonight’s debate.

bw222 on September 22, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Perry’s not finished. It’s too early to count him out.

troyriser_gopftw on September 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM

It’s his third debate and he is getting worse, not better.

bw222 on September 22, 2011 at 10:51 PM

sinking faster than Fred and his red truck did. Short Perry, long Romney if they were stocks

hanzblinx on September 22, 2011 at 11:03 PM

I don’t think Perry is finished, but I think he’d better just stop with the “attack Mitt” tactics and get back to talking policy and acting leaderly. His benign, unifying statements — often framed as kindly jokes — do him good. He makes a terrible attack dog against Romney.

Note to Perry: the “state of Texas” theme is past its shelf life. I love Texas too — got a lot of relatives there, lived there — but you really, REALLY need to lean forward with your rhetoric and address all Americans as if you are just as enamored of them.

The more I see of Romney, the more it’s clear he’s a big-gov Republican. He does really well at making it seem that he is addressing things comprehensively, which comes off either as competence or as grad-student glibness, depending on your perspective. His record is at variance with much of what he says now, however, and that bothers me worse today than it did in 2008. We’re past the window when it was “safe” to keep nominating or electing big-gov Republicans.

Interestingly, no one can strike a resounding note on foreign and security policy. No one is surging to the fore on that one. (Certainly not Hunstman, who keeps talking about living overseas but doesn’t sound like it taught him anything he could articulate in 25 words or less.)

J.E. Dyer on September 22, 2011 at 11:07 PM

I was definitely not impressed with Perry tonight, and i was very well disposed towards him before the debate.

Romney did well in terms of the way he handled himself, but, at least for me, he was at his most repulsive on the issues. Never a straight answer.

Bachmann started off well, but seemed a little kooky. And I liked her earlier as well.

I’m getting depressed with the candidates again.

The rest of the field is ridiculous: Huntsman’s a Democrat, Paul and Johnson are nuts, Santorum’s a yahoo, and Gingrich is clever – really the best of the whole bunch for brains – but too far past his “sell-by” date and with really unattractive personal baggage.

Give me plain Sarah Palin!

CatoRenasci on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Palin, Newt, Cain, Romney win this one.

bloggless on September 22, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Perry’s two biggest warts are illegal immigration and crony capitalism. The question is are they malignant?

For me, his positions on illegal immigration, and in state tuition for illegals, is very, very close to a deal killer. I’d say he’ll lose a lot of support over illegal immigration.

Actually, Paul is right on illegal immigration: cut illegals off completely (the way they used to until the Supreme Court required Texas to allow the children of illegal aliens to attend school). No welfare, no jobs, no schools, no health services or hospitals (patch ‘em up enough to put them on a plane or bus back to their country of origin.

CatoRenasci on September 22, 2011 at 11:15 PM

My thoughts:

Gingrich won the debate as usual. Would eviscerate Obama.

Perry stammered and left me feeling like he wouldn’t be able to whip Obama in a national debate.

Romney seemed confident, glib, and steady. He would easily destroy Obama in a debate.

Cain is very likeable.

Santorum is not likeable. He’s an ass.

Bachmann is done.

Huntsman is supercilious and smarmy.

Ron Paul is like the old ‘get of my lawn’ guy, but likeable.

Gary Johnson – who?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Give me plain Sarah Palin!

CatoRenasci on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 PM

I thought that was where you were going……loser.

cartooner on September 22, 2011 at 11:21 PM

YES.

swamp_yankee on September 22, 2011 at 11:25 PM

It is now.

motionview on September 22, 2011 at 11:26 PM

After tonight, I’d say yes.

alwaysfiredup on September 22, 2011 at 11:26 PM

What is wrong with FOX? Questions about hpv vaccine shots, gays in the military on a day when the market almost crashed, who would you pick for vp and the same old jabs between Mitt and Rick. Rick is done. Sarah, please jump in.

Kissmygrits on September 22, 2011 at 11:28 PM

I’m gonna write to Perry and ask if he would like to offer illegal kids scholarships to fancy prep schools. They are better at ESL and only cost $50K a year.

Ideologically Mitt ain’t perfect but you want a yahoo facing the White House with a billion dollars and our media? Or someone with Perry’s decision history?

MSNBC has been praying for Perry for months. They practically did a special for him tonight. They also said that Harry Reid selected his own opponent last time. And the rednecks and tea partiers swallowed the bait.

IlikedAUH2O on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Adios senior Perry.

3dpuzzman on September 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM

In 2000 George Bush said on a radio show that he would never be a proponent of an amnesty for illegal aliens.

In George Bush’s 2001 state of the union address, George Bush called for an amnesty for illegal aliens.

With Perry’s ‘compassionate conservative’ response, he is toast!

Freddy on September 23, 2011 at 12:16 AM

Karl,

tell me how one person can be so wrong over and over again? do they pay you to be wrong?

unseen on September 23, 2011 at 1:09 AM

I’m just going to re-post my rant from another thread here since there is more breathing room (please don’t kill me):

Rick Perry freaking sucked in that debate and it pisses me off because it looks like Romney will run away with this if he doesn’t get his act together. I can’t believe how horrible Perry was, he talked and looked Stoned, what the hell? Romney has the nerve to ask “which Rick Perry” he is talking to? ROMNEY? Yet Perry didn’t jump down his throat for that comment; Is Perry stupid? I mean that, does he have a low I.Q., because he looked like he did. He can’t explain his record, he can’t conjure up any witty comebacks and he speaks like a skipping CD scratched up by my cat – how the heck did he ever win a single election?

Romney is scripted as hell, but he can speak and he is getting stronger as he goes on. He is every bit the empty suit, he is a New England Liberal (Social Security SHOULD be a Federal Pension plan? Really?), but he truly does look far more electable than Perry and if that is the top quality GOP voters want, Romney is the nominee.

Sarah Palin is the only hope to stop Romney, or at least knock him down some notches. She hasn’t announced though, so right now it looks like Romney.

Sorry, I just had to rant. Perry wrote a good book promoting the values of states rights Federalism, but this dude on stage is nothing like whoever wrote that book.

Daemonocracy on September 23, 2011 at 1:35 AM

Perry better walk back furiously scramble back that heartless comment in the next 24 hours or he is done.

Seriously, he must have known he was going to get that question again and that was the best he could come up with?

What’s so disappointing is we will probably be left with RINO Romney’s Obamalite and then we are screwed.

I am apoplectic tonight.

Bill C on September 23, 2011 at 1:50 AM

Perry’s performance tonight was bad. Someone mentioned earlier in the comments section that this was Perry’s third debate and he seems to be getting worse not better. I agree.

Perry is continuing to stumble and stammer. He looks totally out-of-place in the debates. Perry’s not an articulate advocate for his positions and his beliefs. This will sink him and it does the GOP no good when the stakes are so great.

eanax on September 23, 2011 at 2:50 AM

Sorry, but I can’t hold my tongue any longer. Someone’s got to say something, this Perry mania can’t continue! It just can’t.
How any honest conservative could consider Perry as a viable candidate is beyond any logic I can muster. He flat out lacks “conservative” bona fides.
H e l l, take away his snake skin Luchesses and his “Hey there slick!” Texas swagger and he’s d a m n near a Democrat again.
And while Perry’s conservative cred is weak; his Globalist credibility is unusually strong.
Perry’s a big supporter of NAFTA and the “Super-Highway” to connect Mexico with the US and Canada, and he’s been to a couple Bilderberg meetings…
Perry is also simply wrong on illegal immigration. It’s bad for our country–all around, with no upside.
The forced vaccination issue is no small thing either. That was an affront to the basic premise of conservatism. It was a “nanny state” move, with a whiff of “Big Gov’t” scandal in that one of his important donors was the pharmaceutical company that makes the vaccine! There he was at the debate, feigning indignation over the shady deal when pressed. Asking us if we thought he could be “bought for $5000″ when apparently he can!
I haven’t checked his donors list, but I’d wager dollars to ducats that it looks a lot like most big time establishment politicians, leaning towards large corporations with global interests.
He’s also got that Democrat past, and he’s kept many of those old contacts and associations and that played a part in forming his attitudes on policy. He courts the Evangelicals and the T.E.A. partiers even as his policy record contradicts many of the important interests of both groups. Inexplicably, he gains traction?!
He gets a lot of credit for Texas being in pretty good shape as far as employment and business–but really, isn’t he just playing a strong hand? Texas laws and taxes favor business, so it’s natural that folks have been moving there, and they still have the oil business…
So really now, how can Conservatives trust Perry to lessen the power and size of the government?

badcrow on September 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM

Like many on here, I like some of the more conservative types running, (Bachmann, Cain, etc.). However, if it comes down to Perry and Romney, it has to be Perry. Romney will lose to Obama. The only evidence you need is the fact that the establishment RINO’s and the lib media wants Romney. Having said that, we will need a couple of strong leaders in the House and Senate to make sure Perry does not even approach this amnesty crap.

Amnesty for illegals will kill any chance of ever having another Republican President. McCain only won Texas by less than a million votes and lost FL. If CA, NY, FL and CA become automatic wins for the democrats, “IT’S OVER!

Alabama Infidel on September 23, 2011 at 6:01 AM

Rumors of his demise are greatly exaggerated. Sure, Perry grabbed a big lead with the new guy effect. And he’s given some back. That’s how it works. However, Perry has only given back a little and looks to me to as though he is only a little off of his post boom high and is stabilizing. Romney is making it competitive.

This is all good. It’s a 2 horse race and they both have good pedigrees. Pemney is going to rock Barrack’s world in a year from now.

MJBrutus on September 23, 2011 at 7:01 AM

Yeah. I think it’s over.

Sadly. I think many of us are in mourning this morning, the day after the debates.

balkanmom on September 23, 2011 at 7:41 AM

For everyone that is panicking b/c Perry isn’t doing great in teh debates – relax. (side note, I support Perry b/c I believe he is the most conservative viable candidate currently in the race, not b/c I think he is a perfect conservative [also, I think romney would be a disaesater as a candidate adn as pres]).

Let’s remember that Romney has been running for President for 5 years straight. he has been working on his debating and answers to national questions for all of that time (and likely since well before then). Perry just got into this. He hasn’t been working on debating national issues and campaigning for president for years as Romney has.

It would be nice if Perry jumped in and could magically destroy everyone in the debates and march clearly to the nomination. But that was always unlikely.

the primary is a long process. Perry has time to work on his debate performances, etc. He will get much better. Romney is at the peak of what he can do b/c he has been working on it for so long, there isn’t much room for improvement. But Perry has lots of room for improvement. So relax, and let things unfold.

Monkeytoe on September 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

That was fast.

RDE2010 on September 23, 2011 at 8:29 AM

So really now, how can Conservatives trust Perry to lessen the power and size of the government?

badcrow on September 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM a

Look at his record. TX has been creating more jobs and at a higher rate than any other state.

TX is one of the most fiscally responsible states, and became more so under Perry.

Priorities. Don’t get off in the weeds on unimportant stuff. What are the worst problems facing this country? Unemployment and the debt.

juliesa on September 23, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Texas laws and taxes favor business, so it’s natural that folks have been moving there, and they still have the oil business…

badcrow on September 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM

Don’t give the Huffington Post talking points. We’ve seen at the national level how the executive can destroy an economic recovery. Perry has taken the good hand he was dealt and improved upon it with tort reform and loser pays civil justice reform, plus he has actually cut the budget. And most jobs are not in the oil business. CA and NY have oil and gas, but they refuse to exploit it fully. It’s a policy issue.

juliesa on September 23, 2011 at 8:45 AM

My thoughts:
Gingrich won the debate as usual. Would eviscerate Obama.
Perry stammered and left me feeling like he wouldn’t be able to whip Obama in a national debate.
Romney seemed confident, glib, and steady. He would easily destroy Obama in a debate.
Cain is very likeable.
Santorum is not likeable. He’s an ass.
Bachmann is done.
Huntsman is supercilious and smarmy.
Ron Paul is like the old ‘get of my lawn’ guy, but likeable.
Gary Johnson – who?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Yup. Gingrich is unelectable, though. He’d make an excellent advisor to the winner, a la Karl Rove.
Perry’s alleged high marks for “speechifying” prior to his entrance into this campaign have yet to emerge, and for myself, I’m getting tired of waiting. He’d pretty much petered out by the end of the debate.
I thought Romney held his own very well.
Cain could be a player if he would expand a bit on his tax reform plan. Admittedly, a debate forum doesn’t offer him much of a platform to do it. His lack of government experience cuts into his chances of a presidency, but I think he’s growing in stature among the prospects so far. Doing better than Bachmann, who seems to have hit a plateau. Cain has a genuine likability factor, he’s smart, and he worked for a living earning his degree at Hard Knox, rather than the gilded halls of Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard.
All the others? Meh.

tpitman on September 23, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Icarus.

MassVictim on September 23, 2011 at 1:36 PM