Cain 34% Romney 28% Gingrich 11% Perry 5% Ron Paul 3% Huntsman/Santorum/Roemer 1% Undecided 12% Sample: 600 telephone interviews of 574 likely Florida Republican primary voters and 26 independents. Date of survey: October 7-12, 2011 Margin of error: +/-4% I’m going to be very conservative about counting Perry out of the race. We’ve all seen races in which Perry was a huge underdog (Hightower, Sharp, Hutchison) that he ended up winning. Somebody else can end up with egg on their face. I’ll believe Perry is out when he says he gives up. Perry has several advantages in this campaign. One is that he probably will raise and spend more money than any other candidate. Another is that Romney is not a secure frontrunner; in fact, he isn’t even the frontrunner any more. Cain is the flavor of the month. That won’t last. I was with a group of Perryistas yesterday, and they kept pointing out that Romney has never gotten above 25% in national polls. That’s not quite right–he broke through in a recent NBC-Marist poll–but it’s close enough. Perryphobes should not take too much solace in Perry’s poor debate performances. He has never been, and will never be, a good debater. But, as I have written before, when the debates are over, the campaign transitions into meet-and-greets, and that is Perry’s strength. He connects with people right away. Romney can’t come close to matching Perry for personableness. The big problem for Perry is that he found himself in a hole at the beginning of the debate season, on issues like social security and immigration and crony capitalism/HPV, and he has to climb out of it.
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