There's been much speculation in recent weeks that Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), sensing an opening in the Republican primary field, could be a major player should he throw his hat in the ring. Perry says he's not running, and according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll
of registered voters, that might be the right call. Perry would have a tough time drawing support even from GOP voters in his own state.
Perry polled near the back of the field among a slate of possible GOP contenders, coming in at just 4%, tying him with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Sarah Palin came out on top at 12%, while Newt Gingrich trailed at 11%, and Mike Huckabee -- who announced last week that he wouldn't run -- and Ron Paul tied at 10%. Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann both garnered 7% of the vote, and Donald Trump earned 6%.
Only Rick Santorum (3%), Jon Huntsman (1%) and Mitch Daniels (1%) came in behind Perry.
Perry's problem is less that his constituents don't see him as presidential material, but rather it's that they're pretty lukewarm to his job performance overall. Forty-one percent of registered voters think he's done a good job as governor, while 42% think he's fared poorly at Texas' helm.
Some Republicans, feeling that the current crop of candidates is relatively weak, have been searching far and wide for an alternative choice, and Perry's name has come up as other "dream" candidates have said they have no intention of running. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush both generated a lot of buzz, though neither has shown much interest in running, if any.
The poll was conducted May 11-18 among 388 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 4.98%.