A charismatic southerner jumps into the presidential race. A Rasmussen poll shows him surging into a lead, with nearly 30 percent of the vote.
Oh, wait. New poll! The newest Rasmussen survey of the GOP's field has Rick Perry surging. With the trendlines (though the numbers don't match up perfectly, owing to Tim Pawlenty's departure from the race):
Rick Perry - 29% (+11)
Mitt Romney - 18% (-4)
Michele Bachmann - 13% (-3)
Ron Paul - 9% (-1)
Herman Cain - 6% (-3)
Newt Gingrich - 5% (-1)
Jon Huntsman - 1% (-1)
Rick Santorum - 1%
Thaddeus McCotter - 0%
Gary Johnson - 0%
Buddy Roemer - 0%
Remember 2007, of course, but compared to Thompson, Perry is an objectively superior candidate, with executive experience and a natural fundraising base. He takes from the "name" candidates and blunts Bachmann's momentum from Ames. It's not clear right now where she can win, except Iowa and Minnesota. It still looks like Romney can win New Hampshire and Michigan. The news is that a GOP frontrunner finally has a claim on the southern states.
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