Still, Perry is facing a lot of positive signs as he mulls the decision on whether to run. His innermost thoughts on the issue, however, remain unknown to all but those closest to him. The job of the advisers who surveyed the political and fundraising scene is to give Perry a picture of how a campaign would work. After that, it’s up to Perry himself. “Once all the logistical questions are addressed, he has to use his own process on whether he wants to put himself and his family through this,” says one adviser.

Meanwhile, potential Perry supporters are growing anxious for a decision. “He has a clear path to be very successful in the early states,” says a veteran politico in South Carolina. When asked whether he believes Perry will run, the politico said, “I don’t know why he wouldn’t.” Yet in the next breath, the political veteran acknowledged that not everyone wants to be president so badly that they will endure the rigors of today’s campaigns and life in the White House. “Of course, some people might not want to be president,” the politico says. “Do you want to be guarded for the rest of your life? Do you never want to be able to fish alone again?” That’s the decision that Rick Perry has to make.