On Friday I asked readers what impact Texas Gov. Rick Perry would make if, as widely expected, he enters the Republican presidential race.
Some readers are plainly not Perry fans. Rosebud11 writes, “Perry’s best feature is his hair and rugged Marlboro man looks, but that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee. He’s kind of like a sports car with no engine. He’ll fill up nicely with Republican talking points, but don’t expect any combustion.”
Thirdsyphon takes the opposite view: “Perry will definitely stir things up if he gets in. I’m in the minority on this, I know, but I think that if Perry runs even remotely well, then the GOP nomination will be his to lose.”
DonMega sees it this way:
I believe that Gov. Perry will enter the race as a first-tier candidate. The immediate effect will be to halt Michele Bachmann’s momentum. As both Perry and Bachmann appeal to the Tea Party/anti-Romney voters, Bachmann can expect that some of her current support will jump to Perry. I think that with his executive experience and a record that he can tout, Perry will prevail over Bachmann and thus set up a two-candidate race between him and Romney. I purposefully omitted any discussion of Pawlenty, Paul, Gingrich, Cain or Santorum as these candidates are already out of the running. Ultimately, I believe Perry will prevail over Romney.
I agree with DonMega and others that Perry and Bachmann are likely to compete for the same voters ( Tea Partyers, social conservatives). But I think it is very much up in the air who will prevail with that chunk of the electorate and whether Perry is able to poach some of Mitt Romney’s pro-business, more Main Street Republicans. One thing is certain, so long as they both run competitive races, Romney will be the beneficiary.