Televised Debates in Presidential Primaries

Authored by: David A. Hopkins

Routledge Handbook of Primary Elections

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138684089
eBook ISBN: 9781315544182
Adobe ISBN:


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When Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for president of the United States in August 2011, many political experts predicted that he would immediately establish himself as a serious contender for the 2012 Republican nomination. Perry was then the longest-serving governor in America, having been elected three times to lead the second-largest state in the nation as the culmination of a long political career in which he had never suffered defeat. He boasted the capacity to raise significant funds from an extensive donor network of wealthy Texas Republicans, as well as a more consistently conservative record in office than the party’s initial frontrunner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Perry appeared to have the characteristics of a formidable candidate, and Romney advisors worried that he might well represent the biggest obstacle to the success of their own campaign (Institute of Politics 2013, 20). But Perry’s presidential candidacy ultimately turned out to be an utter flop. He placed a distant fifth in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus on January 3, 2012, winning just 10 percent of the vote, and withdrew from the race two weeks later after receiving less than 1 percent in the New Hampshire primary.

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