Though the Tea Party debate took place thousands of miles away in Tampa, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's less-than-stellar performance Monday on key conservative issues is resonating in Iowa.
Bob Vander Plaats, the former Huckabee 2008 backer and influential Iowa social conservative is hearing mixed and poor reviews from many in conservative circles in the Hawkeye state. They say that the debate was a "bad night for Perry."
Despite months of campaigning by the candidates in early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, many voters in the leadoff states do not pick a favorite until the final few weeks. Perry's first month on the trail has prompted broad curiosity about his candidacy but some key Iowa conservatives found last night's Perry performance insufficient.
Vander Plaats is head of the Iowa Family Policy Center, the author of a Pro-Life & traditional values pledge and ran unsuccessfully for governor of Iowa. He has yet to endorse a 2012 GOP presidential candidate.
Fox News' Carl Cameron contributed to this report.