Analysts: Perry retrenching back home

Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:35 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry's failed bid for the presidency appears to have eroded his popularity at home, observers say.

A poll conducted last month for several major Texas newspapers found Perry's approval rating has slipped to 40 percent, a new low, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Sunday. The survey said a majority of respondents think he should not seek re-election as governor, and 45 percent believe the state's image was harmed by his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Three weeks after abandoning the race, Perry, 61, has been offering media interviews that attempt to lay out his goals going forward, the Star-Telegram said. He told an audience at a Republican dinner in Round Rock, "I'm not slipping off into the sunset."

"I think it's pretty clear he's not as strong as ever. He's not seen as invincible anymore," offered Mark Jones of Rice University's political science department.

Accepting the endorsement of Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, famous for his campaign against illegal immigration, may have hurt Perry's credentials among Hispanic voters.

"I think the governor is going to have to explain that association to regain credibility in the Hispanic community," said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer.

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