Perry doing significantly worse than Fred Thompson

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

Back in August, as it looked increasingly likely that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would enter the presidential race late, the general consensus was, even if he didn't ultimately win the nomination, he'd at least prove a more formidable candidate than Fred Thompson, who entered the 2008 race late as a Republican savior.

But with the first two contests behind us, Perry is tracking well behind Thompson's 2008 performance, and he has little chance of catching the former Senator and actor's showing in South Carolina.

Perry earned a combined 14,370 votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, which is down 24 percent from the 18,915 votes that Thompson received in 2008.

When the race moved to South Carolina in 2008, Thompson had his strongest showing, with 16 percent of the vote. The latest polls have shown Perry at an average of 5 percent support in the state, according to RealClearPolitics.

The problems that plagued both candidates have been a bit different. Whereas Thompson was known for being lazy and half-hearted about his candidacy, Perry was badly damaged by a series of disastrous debate performances.

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