GOP presidential primary watchers are keeping a close eye on a politician who is not yet in the race.
Though recent polls show Romney shows as the front-runner in polls by the Washington Post- ABC news and one by the American Research Group, but it is an uncertain lead.
We asked South Carolina Republican Strategist Chip Felkel if these polls matter right now. He says traditionally, polls at this time would begin to show a shift, a “separation of the pack.”
“That’s not the case this time,” Felkel observes. “We all know that the Republican race is taking a lot longer to form. From the different outcomes that various polls are getting, consistently Romney has shown at least to be leading or near the top but it does not seem that he’s very strong. You have the Palin factor, should she still get in . You have Rick Perry showing not a lot of name ID in some polls, but in other non-scientific discussions, you find that should he get in, he would upset the apple cart.
He adds that the Michelle Bachmann campaign so far has shown a strong initial surge, but “whether or not that is a strong surge or whether Perry undercuts that is what we’ll have to find out–probably after Labor Day.”
Labor Day is also when Senator Jim DeMint hosts an invitation only candidate “forum” in South Carolina in which he will question the presidential prospects to determine the depth of their conservatism. His endorsement is highly sought after to gain an advantage in the South Carolina primary.
AUDIO: Interview with GOP consultant Chip Felkel (5:07)
Felkel most recently supported Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who chose not to run.