Elections

Are Voters Ready for Perry to Try Again for POTUS?

According to one UH professor, the answer is “yes.”

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Texas Governor Rick Perry has not yet come right out and said he’s taking another shot at the White House in 2016.  But much of his activity lately has the appearance of a politician running for higher office.

Are voters ready to give him a second chance?

Between his trips to key primary states, his appearances on talk shows, and the address he delivered last week at the state GOP convention, Governor Perry is doing all the things people running for president do, according to University of Houston associate professor of political science Brandon Rottinghaus.

“You shore up your base, you try to trumpet your accomplishments, you start to travel, and you raise money,” Rottinghaus said.

Governor Perry flamed out of the GOP presidential primary in 2012 after making gaffes that his detractors and comedians still reference.  But Rottinghaus believes voters will likely look past that.

“He wasn’t involved in any kind of major scandal.  There was no kind of corruption involved.  And so he can claim to have made some missteps for having run the first time for president.  I think people would forgive him,” Rottinghaus said.

One big thing in the governor’s favor right now is the lack of a strong Republican front-runner.  Also, the rest of the contenders come with baggage of their own.

“You’ve got Chris Christie, who has got his own, potentially legal, problems.  You have Marco Rubio, who’s made some major missteps.  You’ve got Paul Ryan, who’s been associated with some of these issues.  You’ve got Jeb Bush, who has a long history in Florida that people can dig into,” Rottinghaus said.

It’ll be sometime after the November midterm elections before the primary field begins taking shape.  Rottinghaus says Governor Perry has the name recognition and the money to support another run.  But how long the governor lasts will depend on his ability to create a message that resonates with voters.  

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David Pitman

David Pitman

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David was HPM’s local Morning Edition host from 2009 to 2020 -- when he was moved to the position of Technical Director of Houston Matters with Craig Cohen, and Town Square with Ernie Manouse. David has extensive public and commercial broadcast journalism and production experience dating back to 1993 –...

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