Gov. Rick Perry

Screen shot of Suffolk University poll results

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer is beating Governor Rick Perry among likely Republican voters in New Hampshire, according to the latest Suffolk University tracking poll.

As you can see in the graphic above, Perry garnered one percent support among Granite State GOPers, compared to two percent for Roemer. The poll’s margin of error is 4.4 percent, so it’s basically a wash.

The survey also shows Romney dropping a couple points to 33 percent, but still well in the lead. And the "drop" is actually still within the statistical margin of error. 

A handful of new polls are out, all of which have Mitt Romney ahead in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary by varying margins.

Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

Well, that's two states down, at least one more to go.

I'm flying out of Manchester today for the final time. I'll join up with Governor Rick Perry, who is already campaigning in South Carolina. His dismissal of the fist primary state was obvious over the weekend. After both of the two weekend debates here, there were just a couple of reporters waiting to talk with Perry surrogates in the debate "Spin Room."

Photo by Diamondduste

Governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign bet big on Iowa, spending $4.5 million on media but netting a mere 12,442 votes. Undeterred by his fifth place finish, Perry is now looking to double-down in South Carolina. But three new polls suggest the odds are not good.

Perry is polling at five percent in the CNN/TIME/ORC poll of likely primary voters. They were surveyed Wednesday and Thursday, after the Iowa caucuses.

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s support has surged to 37 percent, almost doubling since December. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is at 19 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 18 percent in the survey.

A separate poll released today by Rasmussen also puts Perry in fifth place with five percent support. And Public Policy Polling, set to release a new survey soon, posted on Twitter that it will also find Perry in fifth place.

No phrase sums up Rick Perry’s political DNA better than this one: He has never lost an election. But after an awful fifth-place showing in Iowa, and top aides telling him he should consider pulling out of the presidential race, the specter of a first defeat has come into focus.

Here's the problem: Perry does not really know how to lose.

“Setbacks are unknown to him,” said Bill Miller, a veteran Texas lobbyist and consultant. “He has no experience with it. He’s never quit because he’s never lost.”

Photo by Matt Largey/KUT News.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is taking his campaign to New Hampshire and South Carolina, which hold GOP presidential primary elections this month. Perry had members of the press corps scratching their heads after Iowa over the mixed messages from his campaign staff.

Only Gov. Rick Perry knows for sure what changed in the 12-hour period between his late-night decision to come back to Texas to reassess his presidential bid and his morning Tweet that he was forging ahead to South Carolina.

While the Tuesday night announcement surprised Perry's staffers and supporters — even following a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses — his abrupt and public change of heart Wednesday morning caught them completely off guard.  

So what could he be thinking? We asked seasoned strategists, politicos and Republican experts on the ground in early primary states for their top five theories.

Despite a fifth place finish in Iowa, Governor Rick Perry says he won’t abandon his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. KUT News hosted a Tele-Town Hall this afternoon with senior reporter Ben Philpott and NPR’s national political correspondent Don Gonyea. Moderated by KUT’s Nathan Bernier.

The conference call is 40 minutes. Stream it here or download the mp3 and listen on a mobile device. 

Photo by Matt Largey, KUT News

Governor Rick Perry, in justifying his decision to stay in the GOP presidential contest, said the Iowa caucuses were “loosey goosey” and allowed a lot of Democrats to participate.

Perry came in fifth in last night’s Iowa contest, and said he was headed back to Texas to “reassess” his presidential campaign. Then late this morning, Perry tweeted that he was continuing on to South Carolina. 

KUT's Matt Largey was one of a group of reporters who caught up with Governor Perry in the lobby of the Sheraton West Des Moines as the candidate explained his decision.

Rick Perry: I just said I was going to reassess last night. I reassessed. We’re headed to New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Reporter: So you’ll participate in both debates?

Despite a disappointing fifth place finish in Tuesday night's Iowa caucuses that led Rick Perry to say he was returning home to Texas to reassess his candidacy, the Texas governor surprised everyone — including some of his own staff — by tweeting that he was headed to the Palmetto State. 

"Next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State," Perry tweeted, posting a picture of himself in jogging gear giving two thumbs up. "Here we come South Carolina!!!" 

Perry's son Griffin Perry followed up with his own tweet confirming his father's intentions. "See y'all next week in Carolina! I expect all my SEC brethren to come out in force," the younger Perry tweeted.

The news sent political pundits, who had all but assumed Perry was dropping out of the race, spinning. It also clearly confused some of Perry's campaign staff, many of whom were en route from Iowa to Austin. 

"We are all scrambling," one staffer wrote in a text message. 

After a bruising fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Governor Rick Perry says he will return to Texas and consider whether to stay in the Republican presidential primary.

“With a little prayer and reflection, I’m going to decide the best path forward,” Perry said to supporters at his Iowa campaign headquarters in Des Moines. (Watch Perry's speech here.)

Perry officially declared his candidacy at a South Carolina rally on August 13 and quickly surged to the top of the polls, but his luster was tarnished after a series of embarrassing debate performances culminating in his infamous “Oops” moment, a gaffe so blundering that it became a cultural touchstone.

With a meager ten percent showing in the Iowa caucuses, Governor Rick Perry says he is returning to Texas to reassess his political campaign. Read our story here and watch his speech here

Here are the latest results from across Iowa. 

  1. Mitt Romney 25% (Declared winner)
  2. Rick Santorum 25%
  3. Ron Paul 21% 
  4. Newt Gingrich 13%
  5. Rick Perry 10%
  6. Michele Bachmann 5%
  7. Jon Huntsman 1%


Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Update at 11:38 p.m. Perry says he is returning to Texas to reconsider his presidential campaign.

Earlier: Results are still pouring in this evening from the Iowa GOP presidential caucuses, but they can’t meet the best hopes of Governor Rick Perry’s Iowa campaign. He surged to the top of the pack after announcing his run on August 13; Perry is now looking at a fourth or fifth place showing in Iowa.

KUT News talked to Perry’s campaign co-chair in Iowa, Bob Haus.

KUT News: Governor Perry has been asking people for a second look, but was it too late in the game for him to bring it around?

Bob Haus: I don’t know. Let’s wait for all the results to come in tonight. It looks like a pretty close battle for fourth place between he and [former House] Speaker Gingrich, so we’ll see how it all turns out.

I think it’s really important to remember that this is the first step in a very long process. Regardless of what tonight’s results are, he’s laid down plans to go into New Hampshire to do the debates, go into South Carolina and start campaigning, and he’s going to keep fighting on.

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

One of Rick Perry’s former classmates at Texas A&M University made an impassioned plea at a caucus meeting in Urbandale, Iowa for voters to support the Texas Governor’s bid for the presidential nomination.

Update at 11:40 p.m. Perry says he is returning to Texas to reconsider his presidential campaign.

Earlier: Texas Governor Rick Perry, speaking this afternoon on CNN, says he will “continue on” tomorrow in South Carolina, regardless of how well he performs tonight in Iowa.

“The idea that one or two states is going to decide who the next nominee for the Republican party is just, that’s not reality,” Perry told CNN’s John King. “This is a fifty-state campaign.”

King asked Perry if he was worried that socially conservative candidates including Perry, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum could split the far right vote and hand the nomination to Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.

But Perry dodged the question, saying comparisons to past elections don’t apply in this race.

It might have been the closing moments of a Texas governor’s race.

There stood Rick Perry, flanked by his fellow Republican leaders Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Comptroller Susan Combs.

Ad man David Weeks lingered in a crowded doorway as aide Robert Black adjusted a sagging campaign sign, one of several being used for backdrops inside the Sheraton West Des Moines hotel. Longtime political allies, donors and friends smiled and cheered at all the appropriate times.

But in the few hours remaining before the results from the Iowa caucuses start pouring in, an unfamiliar air of nervousness and uncertainty hung over the crowd. None of them have ever seen Perry so far out of his comfort zone, so close to his first-ever defeat.

With the Iowa caucuses looming just over the horizon, Governor Perry is swinging hard at Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator leads the pack among the more socially-conservative GOP presidential candidates.

In this new advertisement, the Perry campaign literally shows pigs in an effort to draw a comparison between pork barrel politics and Santorum’s three-year-old comment on Fox News that “I’ll defend earmarks."  Earmarks are provisions added to bills that direct funds to projects in lawmakers' home districts. 

The ad repeats Santorum's one-second comment six times, each time highlighting an earmarks Santorum put into bills while serving in Congress. Unsettling carnival music plays in the background, while a portrait of President Obama slowly transforms into the face of the former Senator.  

Santorum has rebuffed Perry's attack on earmarks, saying he's "proud" of money he brought back to his state.

Those who remember newspapers might recognize this as a "clip and save." Maybe the more modern term would be a "cut and paste." Whatever, if you want some of the details and logistics about Tuesday night's caucuses in Iowa, here they are:

-- When: 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. ET).

Photo by Ian Crawford/KUT News

Happy New Year! A warm start to 2012 brought crowds to Auditorium Shores for ring out the old year, it brought some warm news to Ron Paul's presidential aspirations just ahead of Iowa GOP caucuses and 2012 could bring some warmth to people living on Austin's streets.

Austin Welcomes 2012

Photo by Gage Skidmore/Texas Tribune

With the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses four days away, a new Des Moines Register poll show a razor-thin margin between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.