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Trend Tracking Midweek: Perry, Obama's jobs speech and Romney, Perry compete for frontrunner

Trend Tracker, August 17

For the first time in weeks, the debt ceiling is nowhere on our Trend Tracker. Instead, new presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is driving the day. Perry announced his candidacy on Saturday in South Carolina, winning back some of the attention from the Ames Straw Poll at which he was not on the ballot. Since Saturday, his comments about everything from global warming to Federal Reserve policies and border patrol schemes have made news. 

President Barack Obama is scheduled to give a "major speech" about jobs in early September. The New York Times reports that such a speech -- which will apparently lay out new ideas, not just repackaged old proposals -- "Could help set a campaign narrative for Mr. Obama as his Republican challengers increasingly focus their attacks on his handling of the economy."

And in third place on our trend tracker, it seems like a battle for the title of "frontrunner" is on between Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. CNN reports that Romney is trying to keep the focus on Obama rather than Perry.