Look for former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be the first Republican presidential candidate to fold his campaign, veteran pollster John Zogby and Reagan biographer Craig Shirley said Monday during a panel discussion on Newsmax TV
"It seems like his campaign is on life support right now," Shirley — author of "Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan,"
out this October — told host J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax Prime.
"He's not able to pay his staff and he hasn't created a rationale for his campaign."
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Zogby, CEO of Zogby Analytics, isn't hopeful and also believes Perry will be the first casualty of the GOP contenders.
"It'll be Rick Perry. Negative momentum," Zogby said. "Chris Christie, right after that."
If Perry and Christie pull the plug, that would leave 15 Republicans in the race, which is now led by billionaire developer Donald Trump, whom Zogby believes will be further strengthened by his tough talk about deporting illegal immigrants.
"It'll help him in the short run for sure. It's going to put a burden on some of the more conservative candidates in the race to spell out their plan. But what Trump has on his side right now is intensity. Very high intensity candidacy," Zogby said.
"There are people who are passionately involved on his behalf and by spelling out some details that could only help him right now with that core group."
Shirley, president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, said Trump continues to get more
criticism from the Republican establishment than from Democrats.
"That's in part because he's a threat to the establishment," Shirley said. "The American people see it in a larger context and they see his campaign in the context of issues with the central issue being illegal immigration and right now it's working very much to his benefit."
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