September 13, 2015

Where Will Rick Perry's Supporters Go?

Rick Perry by Gage Skidmore 8Things are about to get more interesting on the Republican side of the 2016 presidential race. Well, I guess that's not really true. Thanks to Donald Trump, things have been interesting on the Republican side of the presidential race for some time. Still, I think we may be reaching a point where there may be more for us to pay attention to on the Republican side of the race.

It seems to me that the real test of Trump's viability as a serious candidate is going to come as some of the other Republican candidates drop out of the race. With the news that reformed moron (pictured here) and current genius Rick Perry has dropped out of the 2016 race, we'll see if this turns out to be right.

As each Republican candidate drops out of the race, it will be interesting to see where his or her supporters land. I know this is hard to believe, but Rick Perry had to have some people who supported him (even if they were all relatives, Texans, or both). How many of these supporters will move to Trump vs. one of the other candidates? As more candidates drop, will their supporters go to Trump, split among the remaining candidates, or begin to unite behind one of the remaining Trump alternatives?

Conventional wisdom says that Trump is benefiting tremendously from having so many candidates in the race. He stands out from the pack on style if not substance, and so far, that has been more than enough. As the field narrows, he may lose this advantage if the supporters of those leaving the race pull together behind one of the establishment candidates (e.g., Bush III). Obviously, that could change the race in a big way.

As for Rick Perry, I'm happy he's out. Perry is a Christian extremist with a piss-poor understanding of - and open hostility to - the separation of church and state. We now have one fewer Christian extremist running for president. I realize there are still plenty of them left in the race, but at least there's one less to worry about now.