Could Rick Perry’s stunning loss of the Florida straw poll have been averted? Possibly. The question here is whether the Perry camp was so overconfident that it scheduled him to go to a similar straw poll in Michigan without addressing the delegates in Florida. At the times, Perry and Romney were tied in Florida voting with 25% each. Cain was lagging with 5%. Florida is a much more important state than Michigan. Perry may have erred by foregoing the opportunity to lobby for votes. As it turned out, Cain won by such a large margin–37% to 15% over Perry and 14% over Romney–that Perry’s travels didn’t really affect the outcome. Romney easily won the Michigan straw poll, as expected. It is hard to imagine Cain as a serious contender for president. Nevertheless, Perry’s success depends to some extent on his ability to reduce the number of major candidates so that he can go head to head with Romney, his major tormentor. So far, not only has he failed to break away from the pack, but one member of the pack has zoomed past him, for the time being. One has to wonder whether Perry’s stumbles have been noticed by Sarah Palin, who can’t seem to make up her mind whether she wants to be in the game or not.
Politics & Policy