It's an astonishing impact in so short a time, especially when Perry has managed to jump to the top of the pack without laying out a single plan or idea for solving America's problems.
Perry doesn't have to. (R-Texas) tells them that tort reform is part of the package and that taxes will be kept as low as possible. Texas Republicans cut taxes, cut regulation and otherwise stay out of the way. Since taxes are about as low as they can get without having a run on the dollar, the Republican RX for the economy is to drink plenty of liquids and rest.
Democrats have to have a government plan to do something, but that is often giving drugs to a patient when they won't do much if any good and have a lot of side effects.