Many readers will be familiar with this poll since it has received a great deal of coverage. The poll was posted on September 29. The sample covers 925 registered voters, and there was a smaller subset of likely Republican voters. Romney 23% Perry 19% Cain 17% Gingrich 11% Bachmann 3% In the August poll, Perry led with 29%. I’m not going to engage in a lot of punditry concerning this poll. Residents of Mars know by this time that Perry had a bad debate performance that explains his loss of support. He has squandered a lot of momentum, but it’s too early to write him off. The problem for Perry is that the attacks on him are going to continue. Furthermore, Perry doesn’t seem able to control his mouth. The comment about Warren Buffet, that he doesn’t understand the real-world economy, makes him seem incredibly arrogant. I think a lot of Perry’s over-the-top statements actually help him with his constituency, but I can’t see how this one helps at all. Perry has to break the cycle of declining respect that he finds himself in. Almost all of the damage has been self-inflicted. The question I have is, What is Perry’s ceiling? What does a good Perry debate performance look like? Is he getting good debate prep? Or are we going to see more and more stumbles, mistakes, and misstatements? Saturday Night Live didn’t help last week, when they portrayed Perry as falling asleep at the podium. I ask again: What is his ceiling? How much can he improve?
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