Unlike most states, Texas does not have a legislative session this year, and Governor Rick Perry was hoping to be on the presidential campaign trail for most of 2012. But after a disappointing fifth-place finish in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Perry may once again be spending most of his time in Texas.
Perry, the longest-serving governor in the nation and the only current state official in the Republican race for president, announced late Tuesday (January 3) that he was re-evaluating his campaign. Perry said he would "return to Texas and assess the results of tonight's caucus and determine if there is a path forward for myself in this race," The Dallas Morning News reported.
According to the paper, Tuesday's result was the first electoral defeat in nine contests over a 28-year-span for Perry, who took office after former Texas governor George W. Bush was elected to the White House in 2000. While Perry was hoping to follow his predecessor's path to the nation's highest office - and immediately soared to the top of the polls when he entered the race in August - a series of debate gaffes contributed to an equally hasty decline in public perception.
On Tuesday, Perry finished behind former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former U.S. senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Representative Ron Paul and the former U.S. House speaker, Newt Gingrich. Another high-profile candidate, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, finished behind Perry and canceled a scheduled appearance today in South Carolina, leading to speculation that she also may re-examine her campaign.