Dallas, TX – Governor Rick Perry is in Iowa today, talking to voters at the Iowa State Fair. Saturday, the Governor officially announced he is running for President. KERA's BJ Austin says some political analysts believe the Governor will find a run for President a much tougher king of campaign.
Governor Rick Perry has never lost an election for statewide office, from Agriculture Commissioner to Lieutenant Governor, then Governor. But SMU political scientist Rita Kirk predicts Perry will find a national campaign for President is a lot tougher than his Texas races.
Kirk: Because he can't avoid the press like he has in Texas. They, as you know, are on the bus. They're constantly in the face. They're drawing comparisons with other candidates. So, he's going to have to deal with the national press in a way that he hasn't had to do in Texas for quite some time.
UNT political scientist Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha agrees that the Governor will have to up his game on the campaign trail. But he says Rick Perry's story of job creation in Texas is very appealing. Eshbaugh-Soha says GOP primary voters are not likely to dwell on Perry's performance on education, healthcare and related social services - Texas ranking among the bottom states.
Eshbaugh-Soha: Republicans seem to be less concerned about those issues. And when the economy is still floundering, I think people often put those issues on the back burner. The economy always trumps those.
Eshbaugh-Soha and Kirk say Rick Perry is a very viable candidate. Rita Kirk says he was running second to Mitt Romney in the polls every BEFORE he actually joined the race.