Rick Perry’s Chances Are Better Than Trump’s

From: bloombergview.com,  by Johnathan Bernstein,  on Sep 9, 2015,  see the article HERE.

Rick Perry

Rick Perry is out of money, has been laying off staff, sits at about 1 percent in national polls, and probably won’t survive the month as an active Republican presidential candidate. Donald Trump is leading the polls in the GOP race and has all the money he needs.

But I believe the former Texas governor has a better chance of winning the nomination than Trump does. Let me explain.

I still think the Republican nominee will be one of the nine candidates who have conventional qualifications for the job and whose positions on the issues are within the party’s mainstream.  There’s the first tier (in no particular order) of Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush; a second tier of John Kasich and Mike Huckabee, and a long-shot third group consisting of Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie and Perry. This leaves the other candidates — Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and the rest — with smaller chances.

How could Perry win? Any candidate can have a public-opinion surge. Trump, Carson and, on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders will confirm that. Perry may well not get one before he feels he has to face (seeming) reality and drop out. But until then, youneverknow, as the late Joaquin Andujar said.

Perry will (unless he exits in the next few days) participate in the matinee version of the second Republican debate, which is next week. There’s always a chance he could “win” that contest (meaning, he is perceived as having won). If he does, it could generate positive publicity, move him up a bit in the polls and generate enough new fundraising to reboot his campaign. If so, it could spark more positive press, and move him back into the conversation that the party actors, still searching for a consensus candidate, are having.

And if Perry remains in a position to take advantage of a potential surge, then so are the eight other candidates I consider viable, even though none of them has broken out either.

So why not Trump? Early polling doesn’t predict nomination outcomes. The Fix at the Washington Post has been pointing this out regularly. On Sept. 9 in 2011, Perry was leading in national polling of the Republican presidential field. In September 2007, Hillary Clinton was in front for the Democrats, and Rudolph Giuliani led on the Republican side. In 2003 at this point, polls showed Joe Lieberman as the Democratic front-runner. True, Clinton almost won in 2008. But Perry, Giuliani and Lieberman combined to win a grand total of zero primaries and caucuses in their races.

Let’s look at the numbers for other leading candidates as well. In the race for the 2008 nomination, while Giuliani was the polling leader (a position he would hold for another 120 days) with a solid 28 percent of the vote, former Senator Fred Thompson was in second place at 18 percent and rising. Thompson went nowhere in 2008, too. Mitt Romney was in third, with 14 percent. The eventual nominee, John McCain, was down at 10 percent. Huckabee, who won in Iowa and many other states, was at 4 percent in the RealClearPolitics poll average at that point.

I’ll say it again: Trump’s great polling numbers are mainly about name recognition and media attention. Republican voters haven’t made hard-and-firm decisions to vote for him. They are just much more likely to think of him, when pollsters catch them at dinnertime, than they are of the other 16 candidates. And Republican voters are predisposed to like Republican candidates, even fairly odd ones. Beyond that, all the explanations about the appeal of his style or his positions are mostly beside the point — just as those explaining the allure of Giuliani and Thompson were off point in 2007.

Trump has shown a reality star’s ability to draw attention to himself and to keep the spotlight there for an extended period. That’s great for producing results in the summer before the primaries and caucuses. But it won’t be nearly as effective in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, when voters are inundated with information about many candidates.

And at that point, the opinion leadership of high-profile Republicansis likely to be important — whether it’s organized against Trump, or in favor of one or two or three other candidates. It’s certainly not going to be in favor of Trump. Despite his polling surge, he hasn’t picked up the support of a single governor or member of Congress.

As Nate Silver reminded us on Wednesday, Trump has “profound potential differences with the Republican orthodoxy on major issues ranging from taxation to health care to reproductive rights.” The closer he comes to winning, the more organized Republicans will fight back against him. And given that almost all of his support is weak to begin with — as it is for most candidates at this point in the process — it won’t take much for his polling lead to dissipate.


Yeah, I know, I know, it’s early and anything can happen … but color me skeptical. I can accept that Trump may wear out his welcome and fizzle out like the proverbial flash-in-the-pan, but Rick Perry surging to win the nomination? Wow … just wow. I don’t know what this guy is smoking, but it’s common courtesy to pass it around.

He lumps Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul all in a group BEHIND the LONG-SHOT group. According to him, there are NINE other candidates with a better chance of winning the nomination than Trump, Carson, Fiorina, or (my personal favorite) Ted Cruz. 

Understand that I’m no political guru; I’m no expert and I actually do like Rick Perry. But based on my admittedly amateur standing as a political junkie, my assessment is that if Mr. Bernstein’s income is based on his predictions, his wife had better be a ketchup heiress or something.



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7 Responses to Rick Perry’s Chances Are Better Than Trump’s

  1. Kathy says:

    Yeah, he’s smoking something alright because there’s no way Perry’s chances are better. Perry isn’t even in the headlines at the bottom of pages. Santorum is already exiting the stage and Perry will be right behind him with Chris Christie and Lindsey Graham.

  2. Hardnox says:

    He works for Bloomberg news. He must be on something. 🙂

    • Garnet92 says:

      You beat me to it Kathy! I think that we were right and the author of the article was obviously high on something. At least Perry has the good sense to withdraw when it’s apparent (to everyone else) that he has no chance. There are several others who should consider dropping out as well. As I see it, there’s really no reason for the second team debate next week at all. None of them stand a chance.

  3. Buck says:

    Listening to KWFS 1290 Wichita Falls… Rick Perry announced he is suspending his campaign.

  4. Bullright says:

    I share your opinion Garnet. Wow!!! So he did drop out but the writing was sort of on the wall. I was thinking the new money would not generate excitement, even if he got some publicity. Everyone is already familiar with Perry. This guys lineup is pretty subjective. As someone said he should have stopped smoking and writing.

  5. Bullright says:

    Garnet, I just read his newest, post Perry, piece and almost as bad. People must have been all over him for it. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-09-12/rick-perry-s-exit-shows-the-system-is-working Yes, he did say he was not optimistic on his chances in this piece above. All his other analysis wasn’t great either even though he’s a political scholar/writer. What he cannot except is that there are different factors in the mix this time around. Applying old standards to that is meaningless.