Feature

Why Perry is leading the pack

Moderates of both parties would be wise not to underestimate the timing and the power of the Perry surge, said David Brooks at The New York Times.

David BrooksThe New York Times

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s appeal is not “just a summer fad,” said David Brooks. It’s time to take him seriously as a candidate and as a potential president. Less than three weeks after he charged into the race for the Republican nomination, Perry is polling better than his GOP rivals and is neck-and-neck with President Obama. His gun-toting, Bible-loving, small-government swagger is “perfectly tuned” to an electorate that has swung to the right after Wall Street bailouts and the failed stimulus. Republicans now hold an 11-point advantage over Democrats with under-30 white voters, according to the Pew Research Center.

Three years ago, 63 percent of GOP primary voters called themselves conservative; today, it’s 73 percent. The only issue that matters to this new majority is ending big government, and that is Perry’s “simple and fashionable message.” Romney is waiting for Perry to implode, but the Texan’s gaffes only endear him to the base. Moderates of both parties would be wise not to underestimate the timing and the power of the Perry surge. “He could be our next president.”

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