Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be the first to drop out of the 2016 presidential contest, according to Politico's insiders panel
The top strategists, activists and operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire say his attempts to rehabilitate his image are failing, and 40 percent of Republicans and nearly half of Democrats think he is on the verge of leaving the field, Politico reported.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Perry has stopped paying campaign staff
, including in the key states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
"No money and cannot gain traction, even though he has the best record and a superb message," said one Iowa Republican, according to Politico. "Best retail politician I have ever seen, yet not able to pick up interest against a strong field. Where was this guy last time around?"
Another Republican in Iowa had less positive things to say.
"When you've suspended all staff pay, the writing is on the wall. His team suggests he'll have a memorable debate moment. Unfortunately for Rick Perry, that moment happened in 2011, oops."
"Perry's just not getting the second look from voters he hoped for," said another GOP Granite State insider, according to Politico. "He's rehabilitated his reputation to some extent by being serious and competent this time, and he needs to consider that success."
The panel believes that former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore will be the next candidate in line to leave the race.
"Does anybody know he's in the race? He's the only one not included in the Reagan library debate
. What is his base?" an insider told Politico.
Some say, however, that Perry's Super PAC will keep him in the race.
"I was going to say Rick Perry because of the layoffs of his campaign staff, but his Super PAC will carry him for a while longer," a New Hampshire Republican told Politico. "That leaves Bobby Jindal as my guess for the first to drop out.
"Jim Gilmore hasn't even dropped in, so I'm not counting him."
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