Perry, however, is able to reach many different constituencies, according to Innocenzi, including territory held by other top candidates, like Bachmann and Romney. "What I think makes Perry so strong is he reaches across all of them. He appeals to the quote 'establishment' traditional Republicans ... because he's a governor. He appeals to the conservatives and Tea Party because he supports their positions." says Innocenzi, who adds that Perry has only one notable gap in his support. "He kind of plays in all the other segments of the Republican Party, with the exception of the moderates or the liberals."
Big Money in Texas
Perry has yet to submit a campaign finance report to the Federal Election Commission, but his fundraising prospects already look strong, as he is from one of the best states for fundraising. Data from campaign finance watchdog the Center for Responsive Politics show that Texas is thus far the No. 4 state in contributions for the 2012 cycle, with nearly $33.5 million in contributions, 65 percent of which has gone to Republicans.
Sabato believes that Perry will be a fundraising force to be reckoned with, judging from his past political success and the free flow of political money in his home state. "Cash gushes like oil in Texas. If you want to be from a place to raise political money, you want to be from Texas," says Sabato.
Of course, Bachmann has also proven her fundraising mettle. In her 2010 run for re-election to the House, the Minnesota Republican's campaign committee raised more than $13.5 million, which is believed to be more than any other House candidate has ever raised for a single election. And thus far, she is holding her own in presidential fundraising, with more than $3.6 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.