Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s inability to remember the three federal agencies he would eliminate — culminating with his now famous/infamous “oops” comment — is the most memorable moment of his now-ended presidential campaign.
But, Perry’s campaign was in free fall long before “oops”. It didn’t signal the beginning of the end but rather the end of the end for the Texas governor. In fact, Perry’s prior debate performances — all bad — led to a far faster and larger erosion in his polling support than did the aftermath of “oops”.
Since a picture says a thousand words, here’s a terrific graphic from the folks at the Texas Tribune on how “oops” fit into Perry’s overall downward polling spiral. (Make sure to check out their full report on the decline and fall of the Texas governor too.)