Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has told supporters in Florida that his rivals for the 2012 nomination are making a mistake by skipping an early test vote in the state.
The Texas governor met with Florida activists on Saturday and urged them to support a conservative in the race to take on President Barack Obama.
Unlike in this summer's Iowa straw poll, the leading Republican contenders aren't actively contesting the Florida test vote.
Two of Perry's chief rivals, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, left Florida before voting began.
The poll results are expected to come out Saturday evening.
The early Florida poll has a record of predicting the GOP nominee but hasn't been a serious factor in recent years.
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