With more cash in bank, Perry camp optimistic


That new poll from CNN puts Mitt Romney and Herman Cain in a virtual tie at 26 and 25 percent. Perry is in third with 13 percent nationwide. But that's charitable.

In one Florida poll, Perry has less than 3 percent support. He needs a restart and to help, he's leading in the cash poll.

Perry's $15.1 million is actually more cash in the bank than Romney had on October 1. It can't buy Perry a race to the top, but combined with a calendar that may help there is some room for honest optimism.

This is where Perry is at his best -- out with voters one-on-one making the sale. But days like this are harder to come by while squeezing in five debates in five weeks across the country and increasingly spending more time preparing than actually debating.

"Debates are not my strong suit," Perry said last week.

After Tuesday night's debate in Las Vegas though, Perry gets three weeks off from the debate podium. It gives him a chance to get back to retail politics and he'll likely start spending some of the millions of dollars he's banked -- starting the TV ad war in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, hoping to reverse his slide in the polls.

"In his previous campaigns, he's been a pretty darn effective TV candidate. They're going to play hardball," said Dr. Richard Murray, KTRK Political Consultant.

In a web video released last week, Perry hit front running Mitt Romney hard on his health care ties to President Obama. But talking to the Washington Post on Monday, Perry's chief strategist says the first ads will be more positive, aiming to introduce Perry to GOP voters.

A recent Pew survey shows just 28 percent of voters can give Perry's name as a candidate. Given that, it should be no surprise that the big money Perry scooped up in the first two months of his campaign came largely from supporters here at home.

A breakdown from the Center for Responsive Politics shows 60 percent of Perry's money came from Texas -- nearly $10 million. Two and a half million alone came from Houston area donors. It left Perry with more cash in the bank than even frontrunner Romney.

"It's helpful to Perry that he has banked more cash, but Romney has his personal checkbook," Dr. Murray said.

Last time around, Dr. Murray told us Romney spent nearly $44 million of his own dollars.

One more interesting poll on Monday: The Pew Center's Journalism Project took a look at the presidential coverage from May through October, and despite his wife's claims that Perry was brutalized, he actually had the most positive coverage of all the candidates until early October when it fell off.

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