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Friday, August 19, 2011

Perry and Bachmann

Our chapter on mass media discusses how candidates interact with the press. KPRC in Houston reports on Texas Governor Rick Perry's presidential campaign:
"Perry is good on the stump and one-on-one, and that will do him well. The press is going to be unrelenting," Rice University political science professor Robert Stein said.

Six days into his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Perry is making headlines for comments about global warming and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

"You don't expect out of the gate you would get that kind of criticism. He is going to have to clean that up and clean that up very quickly," said Stein.
The report notes that half the country knows little about Perry.
The next debate for the Republican primary candidates is on Sept. 7. It will give the other half of the country a chance to hear more from Rick Perry.

"Rick Perry has to prove to himself and the voters he is on message and a disciplined and focused candidate. Is he a favorite? No. Is he a legitimate candidate? More than legitimate. He is a serious candidate for the nomination," said Stein.
Our chapter on elections and campaigns analyzes the distinctive features of primary campaigns. Minnesota Public Radio reports:

It's no surprise that Bachmann chose South Carolina as her first stop following the Iowa Straw Poll victory, Furman University Political Science Professor Danielle Vinson said. Like Iowa, South Carolina is flush with conservative Republicans. It also has strong tea party and social conservative movements.

"She's got sort of a natural base in South Carolina with the tea party," Vinson said. "The tea party is fairly strong up here and they like her, and so this was a way for her to kind of capitalize on the attention she got coming out of Iowa and find herself in front of crowds that were excited about her."

Bachmann might be a good fit for many Republicans in South Carolina, but she has newfound, tough competition in Perry, Clemson University Political Science Professor Dave Woodard said.

Woodard, who is also a Republican consultant, said Bachmann and Perry essentially hold the same positions on the issues. What distinguishes the two are their resumes.

Woodard said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is all but ignoring South Carolina, setting up a battle between Perry and Bachmann. He predicts South Carolina Republicans will favor Perry not only because he's a fellow southerner but also because of his executive experience as governor, his record of military service and because he is male.

"You know the problem is you have a conservative southern state, fewest number of elected female representatives, strong military presence, strong tea party presence but more than the tea party, just a strong strain of conservatism here that has picked the nominee every time since Ronald Reagan," Woodard said. "I just don't see Michele Bachmann falling into first place in that scenario."

Woodard also says although Bachmann has demonstrated her ability to raise millions of dollars, it will be difficult for her to compete with the Texas money that'll be on Perry's side.