Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

As expected Sen. Ted Cruz easily won the presidential straw poll at the Texas state Republican convention this past weekend in Ft. Worth, but the margin of victory over Gov. Rick Perry was the real story. Cruz, the freshman Tea Party Senator, “cruised” to victory with 43.4 percent of the vote.  Coming in a distant second was Dr. Ben Carson-who wasn’t even at the convention with 12.2 percent, narrowly edging out Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who garnered 12.1 percent of the vote.  Finishing a disappointing fourth was Perry, who spoke at the convention and is leaving office after a record 14 years leading the state.

Perry who ran for president in 2012, but flamed out after a disastrous debate where he lost his train of thought, is believed to be a potential 2016 candidate and has been relatively popular in Texas, but he left the convention badly wounded with his poor showing.

In general straw polls don’t matter that much and are generally conducted with 1,000 or so votes.  But in Texas there were over 5,000 votes cast and Perry just totally fell flat.  If he has finished a distant second that would have been okay, since Cruz has become a star on the national stage.  But not only did he finish fourth he trailed Ben Carson who is gaining greater national prominence but has never held public office and has avoided any discussion of any presidential aspirations.

Perry wasn’t really ready to run in 2012, and it’s still early, but to badly lose a straw poll in his home state can’t be good for his chances going forward.

 

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