• Perry was only three points behind Romney, 17 to 14 percent, in support from 323 registered GOP voters in a Fox News poll. Bachmann was third with 10 percent. President Barack Obama topped all Republicans in head-to-head matchups, with Romney behind Obama by six points (47 to 41 percent) and Perry and Pawlenty down 10 points (both 47 to 37 percent), the poll showed.
• A CNN poll of 455 Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP showed the tightest race, with Perry only two points behind Romney, 16 to 14 percent, with potential candidates Giuliani and Palin close behind at 13 percent.
• Romney had a solid lead with support from 30 percent of GOP primary voters in an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll. Bachmann followed with 16 percent, and Perry was third with support from 11 percent of those polled.
• Perry came in fourth with support from 8 percent of registered Republican voters surveyed by the Washington Post and ABC News. Romney had 28 percent, followed by Palin with 16 percent and Bachmann with 13 percent.
1. He is not Bush. He grew up poor, while Bush grew up rich. They hate each other.2. It is not a big deal that he was once a Democrat, since he was always a conservative. [Besides, Reagan started off as a Democrat -- and a liberal. -- JJP]3. He is cannier than you think. He knew what he was doing with secession remarks.4. Texas is not a "weak governor" state. Like LBJ as majority leader, he has expanded the power of his office.5. He is not a hair model. He is a very tough pol.6. He is from the middle of nowhere -- Paint Creek.7. He is an Aggie.8. He is lucky.
So there you have it. In closing, I would like to request that you please do your best to avoid tin-ear clichés about barbecue, cattle, oil, football, and the Alamo. Remember, this is an urban state of 25 million people. We don’t go to sleep at night dreaming of William Barret Travis drawing a line in the sand. We do admire our rural history, as this month’s cover attests, but our vitality is in the cities. Enjoy your visit, best of luck, and please get it right this time.