Will Rick Perry Drop Out Of The 2016 Election? His Campaign Isn't Looking Good
As the former governor of Texas loses even more staffers, it's looking like Rick Perry should seriously considering dropping out of the 2016 election. The odds are beginning to stack up against the candidate, as low-funding and loss of staff have begun to slow his campaign. This week, Perry lost yet another of his Iowa co-chairs, leaving one staffer to hold down the state that's become crucial to his campaign.
Although he didn't win the Republican nomination in 2012, Perry managed to run a competitive campaign — but it seems unlikely he'll be able to match his previous success. The campaign is bleeding money, and was forced to stop paying all of their staffers in early August. His two former Iowa chairs have jumped ship — one for Rick Santorum's campaign, the other for Donald Trump's. He has been forced to cut staff in South Carolina, another crucial early state, and his fundraising isn't picking up. His campaign seems to be on its last breath, and at this point in the 2012 election, Perry had just announced his bid.
But yet, Perry is still insisting that he's going strong. In mid-August he told radio host Hugh Hewitt that the campaign was far from over. "This is a long race. This is a marathon. This isn’t a sprint," Perry said. "There's a lot of time left. There are a lot of debates. There's a lot of work to be done."
But aside from the candidate himself, it doesn't seem like anyone is betting on Perry. Earlier this month, his likelihood of being the first candidate to drop out went from 10 percent to 33 percent, while Politico estimated that 40 percent of early state Republicans think he will be the first to go.
After failing to secure a position in the main Fox News debate on Aug. 6, it looks like he will once again be relegated to the happy hour debate during the next Republican debate in September. And unlike Carly Fiorina, who had been dropping in polls, Perry's performance at the "kiddie-table" debate did nothing to improve his standing.
Perry's loss in Iowa is a sign from the political powers that be: it's time to go home. His super PAC — which has raised over $16.8 million, according to the National Journal — could satiate his financial woes. But Iowa was a cornerstone of the candidate's campaign strategy. To combat low polling across the nation, Perry has focused much of his attention on the early state, and he has held more events there than almost any other candidate.
Austin Barbour, a senior adviser to Perry's super PACs told the National Journal that Iowa is the main focus currently. "Bottom line is to make sure we get him in place to win Iowa... or at least get a top-three finish," Barbour said. But according to The New York Times, Perry is barely pulling in 1 percent support in the state.
Because of his well-funded PACs, Perry could float for an indefinite amount of time. He could restaff in Iowa and set up shop, and drag the race out. But the field is bloated — if it were among five candidates, the strategy might work. But with so many candidates seeking the Republican nomination, Perry's likelihood of rallying is slim.
The best thing that Perry's campaign could do right now is to call it a day. He put up a good fight, but it's time to close up shop and exit gracefully. Perry's departure from the field could start a chain reaction, as other low polling candidates followed suit, therefore narrowing the extremely large field. If Perry leads by example and withdraws, it could end up being his largest contribution to the 2016 election.