Pawlenty, Perry, and the state of the GOP race

Poor Tim Pawlenty.  In one sense, everything was teed up for him.  He can appeal to social conservatives and be relatively non-offensive to Tea Party types while still getting respect from the corporate overlords of the Republican party.  Yet, by most accounts it just seems that the man’s political skills are not ready for prime time.  This article in today’s Post sure doesn’t make things sound so good for him.  This particular bit caught my attention:

His decline in Iowa has less to do with any policy stance than merely a hardening perception among detractors — and a worry among supporters — that he is not as charismatic or rhetorically tough as some of his rivals, particularly Bachmann.

Yikes.  When you are losing out to someone widely seen as unelectable in a general, you’ve got problems.  I was inspired to see how he’s faring on the intrade markets and found this:

Poor Pawlenty, he’s fallen below the absurdly over-inflated Hunstman.  If my wife was not so obdurate in me partaking in any form of gambling except for NCAA pools, I would so sell Hunstman short to make some easy money.  There’s no way he’s going to be the Republican nominee.  His 8% is almost enough to make me question the “wisdom of crowds” crowd in this particular market.  As for Perry, what can you say but “Run, Rick, Run.”  Of course, we really don’t know how he’ll fare as a national candidate.  I also think his late start (assuming he’s running) may be more of an advantage than many realize.  In political science we refer to the “preseason primary” as the period of jockeying, fundraising, organizing, etc., before the actual voting.  And, it’s fair to say there’s already been a fair amount of preseason action going on without Perry.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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