Gov. Rick Perry has started reaching out to key Republican leaders in New Hampshire, as he tests the waters for a potential presidential run, the New Hampshire Journal reports.
“He was looking for my thoughts in terms of what the presidential field looked like and what might happen if someone came in and shook things up a little bit,” New Hampshire Senate President Peter Bragdon told the AP today.
Despite the later start, there are reasons to be optimistic about Perry’s chances in New Hampshire if he does decide to shake things up. First, only three-quarters of Republican voters in the state have definitively decided on a candidate, which means many of them may be unsatisfied with the current field.
According to the two most recent New Hampshire polls by the University of New Hampshire and PPP, Perry currently comes in at 5th place, despite the fact that he hasn’t actually entered the race and isn’t likely to have a huge amount of name recognition. In both polls, Perry garners more support than Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich (who have all devoted time to campaigning in New Hampshire). The Texas governor also has impressively high favorability ratings, with +19 in the UNH poll and +20 in the PPP poll.
Add that to the reported outreach from New Hampshire Republicans urging Perry to run, and it looks as if he’d have a decent chance in the state if he does decide to take the leap.