Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Zeke Miller, blogging at Business Insider Politix, does a premature victory dance for Rick Perry:

The Perry (Un)Electability Argument's Quick Demise: He Polls Three Points Behind Obama

A new poll from Quinnipiac University has former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama tied in a hypothetical general election matchup -- and the Republican frontrunner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is not far behind.

Obama and Romney would each get 45 percent of the vote if the general election were held today, while Obama would slightly edge-out Perry 45-42 percent....

For Perry, who has faced criticism from some in the Republican party as being unelectable because of his conservative positions, these poll numbers are a relief....

Yeah, I suppose they're a relief to Perry, but they're not the last word, for one simple, obvious reason: when you scroll through Quinnipiac's numbers, you discover that 55% of poll respondents haven't heard enough about Perry to form an opinion about him. That includes 58% of independents and 61% of women (two groups in which his unfavorable rating exceeds his favorable rating among those who do know enough about him to have an opinion).

So, for much of America, Rick Perry is still undefined.

Now, in America we admittedly have an absurdly high tolerance for right-wing blowhards. But I think there's a limit to that tolerance, and Perry has an excellent chance of exceeding that limit. I'm thinking just of how he'll frame himself to win primary votes, as well as how the Obama campaign or (perhaps more critically) Saturday Night Live will frame him.

In spite of all that, sure, he might still be electable. But it's really too soon to know.

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