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Two Texans Make The Iowa Caucus Round

With only a few days left before the Iowa Caucuses, two Texans are stumping for voters: Governor Rick Perry and Congressman Ron Paul. KERA’s Jacqueline Fellows reports Governor Perry is appealing to voters by billing himself as an outsider.

The results of next Tuesday’s vote aren’t likely to predict who will be the next President, but it will show which Republican candidates have a fighting chance.

Despite trailing toward last in the polls, Texas Governor Rick Perry is hoping to make a strong finish. Political reporter Todd Gillman with the Dallas Morning News has been covering the campaigns in Iowa. He says Perry’s personality plays well, but his claim of being a Washington outsider doesn’t.

Gillman: A lot of the specifics he makes to shore up his credentials as an outsider anti-establishment candidate, the voters in Iowa who I’ve talked to, and I’ve talked to dozens in the past day, think are either pandering or ridiculous or not feasible. It always gets a lot of applause, so they like generally the way he pitches himself but don’t necessarily believe the details. I can’t count how many Iowans who said the guy’s been Governor of the second biggest state. He’s really not an outsider.

Perry has proposed cutting in half Congressional pay, staff, and time spent in Washington.

Meanwhile, the other Texas Republican in the race, Congressman Ron Paul, has some analysts saying his strong grassroots support could propel him to a win in Iowa.

North Texas political science professor, Dr. Mathew Eshbaugh-Soha says if that happens, Perry could still continue on with a third or even fourth place finish.

Esbaugh-Soha: Ron Paul is kind of the interesting case. I wonder if Paul wins significantly in Iowa how that changes the interpretation of Iowa. Whether people will look at that and say okay he’s a viable candidate he can go on or will people continue to discount Ron Paul. And if they do that, then that makes the second, third, fourth place candidates…they’ll generate more news coverage and a stronger message to take into the next set of primaries.”

After the vote in Iowa next week, there are three presidential primaries in January: New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.