Election 101: 11 questions about Rick Perry and his White House bid

The Texas governor made clear his intention to run for president with appearances in South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday and a planned trip to Iowa on Sunday.

3. Who is his base?

"Romney has the backing of the establishment, country club Republicans. Bachmann has right-wing populist backing. Perry has a foot in both camps,” says Allan Lichtman, history professor at American University in Washington, D.C.

Perry is poised to successfully court both the GOP establishment as well as the tea party, and as a lifelong Texan, can capture the growing Sunbelt vote.

“He has true crossover appeal,” says Mr. O’Connell.

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