Perry for President? What Are His Chances?

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:07pm

There are many candidates vying for the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination. After Thursday’s announcement that list now includes current Texas Governor Rick Perry.

“I think now is better, I think he will be the fresh face on the scene at this point,” says UTB History Professor Dr. Anthony Knopp.

Knopp believes the timing of Perry’s announcement could prove to be beneficial, but he will have some questions to address.

“How is he going to sell himself to Hispanics?” asks Knopp. “That's an issue when it comes to illegal immigration. What kind of stance do you take on that?”

Knopp believes Valley citizens may support Perry over other Republican nominees because of his Texas roots. However, Knopp still says that the Rio Grande Valley is a predominately democratic region.

“He has been very successful in getting elected and he gets a lot of votes down here. But I don't think he will get the majority.”

Many people expect Perry’s campaign to focus on the consistent job growth Texas has experienced during this tenure as governor.

“Texas is clear and away the leader in job growth over the past several years,” says Knopp.

One obstacle Perry may face is the comparison to former U.S. President George W. Bush.

“If Perry were to get the nomination the Democrats are going to say: Do we want another Texas guy like Bush?” says Knopp

But this comparison is unfair.

“He's not even a Bush protégé,” says Knopp. “He was not someone that Bush brought along and got him into the governor's seat.”

Given the timing of Perry’s announcement, Knopp believes the current Texas governor and Mitt Romney have the best shot at securing the nomination.

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