News / USA

    Perry Surging in Republican US Presidential Race

    Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to supporters at Tommy's Ham House in Greenville, South Carolina, August 20, 2011 (file photo)
    Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to supporters at Tommy's Ham House in Greenville, South Carolina, August 20, 2011 (file photo)

    In U.S. presidential politics, Texas Governor Rick Perry is making a strong bid to take the lead in a crowded field of Republican candidates.  

    The latest Gallup poll shows Rick Perry vaulting into the lead for the Republican presidential nomination over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

    Perry led with 29 percent in the poll, followed by Romney at 17 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul was third with 13 percent and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was in fourth place at 10 percent.

    Leading the pack

    Another survey by Public Policy Polling shows Perry with a 13-percentage point lead over the rest of the field.

    Perry’s surge comes after he visited several states that hold early events in next year’s process of nominating a candidate. A major theme of his campaign is the nation's weak economy.

    "One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a fulltime job. That is not a recovery. That is an economic disaster,” said Perry.

    Among those swept up in the Perry campaign is this couple from South Carolina.

    “We read his bio this week online and found him a very interesting candidate, and we are looking for somebody with the charisma and we felt like he might be the man,” said this man.

    “He may be it,” said this woman.

    Practical business experience


    Mitt Romney led the Republican contenders in the polls for months and he continues to campaign on his background as a businessman.

    “We simply have to have an administration that has as its leader a person who understands how business works and how the decision we make from a tax and regulatory and trade standpoint affect the creation of jobs,” said Romney.

    Perry’s rise to the top of the Gallup poll is no surprise to American University presidential historian Allan Lichtman.

    “I think ultimately this is going to come down to a two-person race between Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney,” said Lichtman.

    Lichtman said the poll results suggest Perry appeals to both economic and social conservatives within the Republican Party.

    “The Republican primary electorate is very conservative and Perry is more conservative than Romney. Perry probably has a better campaign style and, as we know, Romney’s Mormon religion has been a problem for the Republican evangelical Protestant base, which is a very significant portion of the Republican primary electorate. So Romney has got a lot to worry about,” said Lichtman.

    Staking out middle ground

    But some of the other Republican contenders are trying to get out from under Perry’s shadow. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has positioned himself as a moderate in the race and has been critical of Perry’s skeptical comments about global warming and the theory of evolution.

    Huntsman spoke on ABC’s This Week program.

    “Right now this country is crying out for a sensible middle ground. This is a center-right country. I am a center-right candidate and right now we have got people on the fringes.”

    About a dozen Republicans are running for their party’s presidential nomination, though Perry, Romney and Bachmann are getting most of the attention at the moment.

    Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has yet to decide on a presidential run, but is expected to announce her decision next month.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.