Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hey, kids -- remember how, after the last Republican debate on September 12, all the smart people told us that Rick Perry got manhandled and mauled and pummeled and roughed up? Politico told us that attacks by Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul left Perry bloodied and bruised. National Journal told us Perry lit a fire in Mitt Romney's belly and now Romney was coming on like gangbusters. Fred Barnes exulted in Romney's attack on Perry's Social Security talk and described the debate as "Romney's win." Oh, and then Andrew Sullivan and Texas Monthly's Paul Burka discussed whether Sarah Palin did even more damage by (momentarily) accusing Perry of engaging in "crony capitalism" when he approved mandatory HPV vaccination in Texas.

So, um, how's the mugging victim recuperating from this devastating gang attack? Let's look at the first poll taken completely after the debate:

Rick Perry leads Mitt Romney by 31% to 24% in a new USA Today/Gallup poll of Republican presidential nomination preferences....

These results are from a
USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Sept. 15-18....

So Perry's number has actually gone up since the last Gallup poll, in August, when he was at 29%. Some pummeling.

I shouldn't be too smug about this. Romney has made some significant gains since August (from 17% to 24%). The person who's in a world of hurt is Michele Bachmann, who's dropped from 10% to 5% and is rapidly heading for Jon Huntsman territory.

It's possible that Romney will succeed in making this a two-man race. Still, I'm sticking with my theory that Perry's not going to be stopped. He's survived "Ponzi scheme." He's survived HPV (with a little help from Bachmann's fable-spinning). A recent attack on him as a TARP supporter has apparently had no traction. His opponents had better find one of these legendary gay lovers of his fast, because I'm not sure what else they can throw at Slick Rick that could possibly stick to him.