Republican Rick Perry initially gained attention after entering the race for the Republican party's presidential nomination for his outspoken, off-the-cuff style, also known as Perryisms. But now the Texas governor on the presidential campaign trail is becoming known for being a leader in the race.
The latest Gallup poll shows Perry vaulting into the lead for the Republican party's presidential nomination. Perry, who entered the race just a couple of weeks ago, is quickly passing over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the initial Republican front runner.
Perry led the Gallup poll with 29 percent, followed by Romney at 17 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul was third with 13 percent, while Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was in fourth place at 10 percent. On the weekend Perry entered the race Bachmann was claiming a victory in the Iowa Straw Poll, but her momentum has been doused since then by the Texas governor.
Another survey by Public Policy Polling showed Perry with a 13-percentage point lead over the rest of the field.
The reasons for Perry's surge are rather clear. Here's why he's quickly pushed to the top of some polls:
1) He's got the support of social conservatives and many Tea Party members.
The vocal, enraged minority is ready to latch onto to a winning candidate, ushering Barack Obama out of the White House. Republican front-runner Mitt Romney is not their man. He's both a Mormon and a moderate, and both are a problem. Also, while Bachmann does fit the Tea Party and social conservative profile, she doesn't have that same flair that Perry brings to the table, so he's quickly become their man.
2) Economic interests like Perry's gubernatorial record.
Romney keeps preaching that his long-time experience as a successful businessman makes him the best candidate to solve America's jobs problem. But Texas has led the state in jobs created in recent years, and that's been an advantage for Perry.
Maybe Perry doesn't deserve all the credit, but he's had success gaining the support of key economic interests that believe he is qualified to get America working again.
In fact, economic concerns with pledges to fix the problems are among Perry's primary campaign focuses.
One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job. That is not a recovery. That is an economic disaster, said Perry.
3) Evangelicals like his Bible-talking style.
Many in America believe the separation of church and state has gone too far. Perry, however, is not afraid to talk politics and pray at the same time. The week before he officially kicked off his presidential campaign, for instance, Perry organized The Response, a massive prayer rally, making a lead appearance and praying for both the country and President Barack Obama.
4) He's got a wry, folksy tongue, and he's not afraid to use it.
Rick Perry has become famous for his Perryisms, what some might consider mis-statements. Perry, for instance, came under fire two weeks ago for suggesting that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is treasonous. Perry also suggested that Obama might not be passionate about America.
But while Perry gets roasted by some for such comments, others dig in with further support when he lets his tongue lash.
Many people in America think Perry is merely saying what others think but are afraid to say. One thing about Perry: He's not afraid to speak out. Right now, that's working to his advantage, rather than the other way around.
5) Perry is a strong campaigner.
One doesn't become Texas governor without being a savvy campaigner. Everybody knows that. You've got to have the walk, the swagger, and a sort of celebrity appeal required to rise above the political fray, strange as they may be. Sure, political savvy matters, but just remember that Ronald Reagan is known as one of the nation's best presidents.
He was an actor. But he was also a very effective politician, who served Americans quite well, using his appeal as an advantage.
Perry has a rock star-type style that appeals to many. Some may pick on him for it, but there's no denying it makes him a strong, formidable candidate, especially since Romney is quite lacking in that regard.