With his poll numbers dropping, Texas Governor Rick Perry plans to highlight economic issues. Rick Dunham writes at The Houston Chronicle:
"This primary has been characterized by candidates yo-yo-ing through popular opinion," said Cindy Rugeley, a political scientist at Texas Tech University. "If he comes out with something new and different and at the right time, he probably could bounce right back up."
Perry's supporters see the issue of jobs as an opportunity to refocus the race for the Republican presidential nomination and to shift the policy debate to more comfortable turf. But as he prepares for the first debate of the 2012 campaign limited to economic issues, Perry has yet to translate his state's job-creation record into an effective political issue.
Georgia businessman Herman Cain has won national headlines with his catchy "9-9-9" economic plan that calls for a 9 percent corporate tax rate for businesses, a 9 percent income tax rate for individuals, and a 9 percent national sales tax. Front-runner Mitt Romney has unveiled a 59-point economic plan. Perry, whose campaign has been distracted by controversies over immigration, vaccinations and Mormonism, has yet to fill in the details of his economic plans beyond four broad "principles" - spending restraint, low taxes, sensible regulation and curbs on lawsuits.
"He has to find ways to draw distinctions between himself and Mitt Romney, and worry about his right flank, where Herman Cain came out of nowhere," said David Lanoue, a professor of political science at Columbus State University in Georgia.