“While Santorum events on Saturday were reportedly drawing more reporters than caucus-goers, Perry was drawing healthy crowds”

So writes Molly Ball of The Atlantic, who asks “Is Rick Perry the Iowa Dark Horse?” More:

As the days to the caucuses wane, Perry has things other candidates would kill for: Crowds who want to meet him, ads all over the airwaves, a decent ground organization, an anti-Washington message people are hungry for, and terrific hair. The question is whether it’s too little, too late, to get through the crowded pack ahead of him.
 
Several Perry-inclined voters in Boone said they were former Herman Cain supporters, which helps explain Perry’s uptick. 
 
Marti Melton-Streeter, the former GOP chairwoman in Boone County, said she couldn’t support Romney because of his health-care record, and she’s frightened by Ron Paul’s foreign policy views. Perry, she recently decided, deserves a second chance with voters. 
 
“I’d really like to see Rick Perry come out of Iowa. I think he needs that opportunity on the national level,” she said. “I know there have been missteps along the way, but his philosophy is what we need in a candidate.”
 
Carolyn Erickson, an 81-year-old from Ogden, thought she’d made up her mind to support Romney, but Perry changed her mind.
Granted, this is The Atlantic, so gratuitous stupid-Republican comments must be noted to make smart-ass liberals feel better about themselves:
 
Perry still comes across as far from a rocket scientist, and his campaign staff is at war with itself, never a good sign. On Saturday, his campaign announced that he’d proceed directly to South Carolina after Tuesday’s caucuses; the move to skip New Hampshire drew unnecessary attention to his lack of appeal beyond the Bible Belt.
 
But Perry is still the affable governor of Texas, and voters still want to like him, which has become easier since he’s mostly stopped screwing up all the time. (He did forget the name of a Supreme Court decision this week, but it was no “oops.”) 
That’s the only dig, and it’s followed by a big BUT. Since he’s-such-a-genius-Obama has gotten us so far, so fast, I’m willing to take my chances with not-a-rocket-scientist. What say you?
 
 
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