Perry Raises Profile of South

Friday, 12 Aug 2011 11:43 AM

By Dan Weil

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The almost certain entrance of Texas Gov. Rick Perry into the Republican presidential campaign Saturday should enhance the South’s relevance as the battle between candidates rages. The region now has a candidate it truly considers its own, The Hill reports.

Perry’s strong southern ties – he’s a fifth generation Texan – could boost his standing in the region’s primaries.

“There is more of an affinity [in the South] with Perry than there is with Michele Bachmann or Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty,” Dave Woodard, a Republican consultant and professor at South Carolina’s Clemson University, told The Hill. “They don’t wear boots! They don’t play football! He’s one of us! That’s a very big deal.” 

Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University, also sees an advantage for Perry in his Texas roots. “Cultural affinity is a very powerful motivator in terms of who you listen to, who you respond to and who you ultimately vote for,” he said.


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