Although Texas Gov. Rick Perry survived last week's debate at Dartmouth College, he must do better than simply surviving in the upcoming debates, starting with Tuesday night's in Las Vegas.
Perry's reported third-quarter haul of $17 million is impressive, but his poll numbers are in free fall and his organization isn't even remotely comparable to that of the GOP front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Such poll hemorrhaging can only hinder future fundraising and organizational efforts in key early states. Enticing local activists or new donors to climb aboard what appears to be a sinking ship is a pretty tough sell. If Perry doesn't step up his game and quell growing reservations about him, his days as a real contender—if any still remain—may soon be over.
That leaves two scenarios. In the first, without transforming into a world-class debater, Perry recoups enough to stabilize his candidacy, placate at least his Texas donors (after all, heRead More »from Time is running out for Perry to turn things around