In less than three months, Perry has nose-dived in the polls and is drawing comparisons with candidates from past races who showed early promise but quickly tanked. Now the question often asked about his candidacy is whether Perry’s quest for the presidency is nearing an end or poised for a new beginning and an ultimate rebound.

“The polls go up and down, but when it comes to jobs, conservative record, policy initiatives and resources, Perry is well-positioned to win,” says Ray Sullivan, Perry’s communications director.

And to varying degrees, a number of independent analysts share that assessment, saying it’s far too early to dismiss Texas’ longest-serving governor as a spent force in national politics.

Perry’s strategy for winning, and rebounding from his slide in the polls, rests on a number of factors, including $17 million in fundraising, aggressive campaigning on television and social media, more selective use of debates, magnifying his job-oriented economic message, and intense personal campaigning to accent his proven skills at working the crowd.

Another under-the-radar resource is what veteran Republican strategist Mary Matalin describes as “boots on the ground”: crisp campaign organizations in key states to carry out the door knocking, phone calling and other political grunt work needed for victory.

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