The Case for Rick Perry

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The final lineup for Fox News’ Republican debate was announced yesterday, and former Governor Rick Perry was just barely edged out of the coveted tenth place, which would have given him a spot in tonight’s high profile 9 P.M. debate.  Perry took it in stride, saying he looked forward to “a serious exchange of ideas and positive solutions to get America back on track” at the lower tier 5 P.M. event.  Bloomberg, however, wasn’t completely convinced the Man from Texas should be left out of the debate and decided to see how Perry would fair with a more comprehensive elimination process:

The index is simple math. For each candidate, we take the percentage of first-choice votes and double it. We then add the percentage who say the candidate is their second choice. Finally, we take the percentage who say they could see ever throwing support, even if the candidate is not their first or second choice. That “ever score” is halved, because it is less important than winning actual votes.

Who rounds out the top 10 under this new rubric?  Actually pretty much the same candidates as the current lineup at Fox News.  There were two exceptions, however: Governor Kasich, who Bloomberg noted got a bounce from his recent announcement speech, and Rick Perry, who came in number 8 if the bounce was ignored.

Math aside, Rick Perry has been putting his best foot forward this campaign season: A series of detailed speeches, including one on Wall Street reform that turned heads, have earned him the grudging admiration of some of his 2012 critics.  Rick Perry the cowboy has been replaced by Rick Perry the statesman.  Governor Perry has as solid record as anyone in the field on job growth, religious liberty, and border security.  On paper, I’d go so far as to say he may have the best track record in the field, period.  Perry has more than earned a spot on the main stage tonight, and I hope the next debate sponsor keeps that in mind.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles in Action.