For months Mitt Romney has worn the mantle of front-runner in the Republican presidential campaign. But with two new polls showing Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a double-digit lead over the former Massachusetts governor, Romney’s status is under challenge, Politico reports.
The basic question is whether Perry has benefited merely from his formal entrance into the campaign less than two weeks ago. Can he sustain his position, or will his support peter out?
Recall that in the summer of 2007, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson were battling it out for first place in the polls, and neither ended up being a factor in the race.
But Republican operatives agree that Perry is easily the biggest threat to Romney of any candidate now in the field.
“Gov. Perry has conservative record, a multi-state donor base, and an extremely competent team that is just coming off a hard-fought 2010 election,” former American Action Network president Rob Collins told Politico.
“It gets very hard to look at Perry and call his candidacy a bubble,” Collins added.
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