That's interesting, but I'd interpret it differently than Sargent does. He concludes:
Perry’s “Ponzi scheme” crack, his book’s claim that Social Security may be unconstitutional, its support for repeal of the 16th Amendment, and his implied threat of violence towards Fed chairman Ben Bernanke (which he hasn’t repudiated) have all left GOP establishment figures openly asking whether Perry’s views and personal style will be far too toxic to the mainstream for him to get elected president. Yet despite the emergence of all of these things, GOP voters still see him as the one most likely to beat Obama. If those things weren’t enough to persuade Republicans that Perry is less electable than Romney in a general election, it’s hard to imagine what will.Andrew Sullivan chimes in. I think there are two issues here. One is that most people don't follow presidential nomination politics nearly well enough to actually know about most of these issues. I do think that Perry's candidacy is a strong one, but most of his support right now is bubble support, the same that Michele Bachmann had a while ago and Donald Trump had a few weeks before that. Perry, unlike those two, is well-positioned to exploit early enthusiasm, but it's almost certainly content-free at this point.
And thus the answer to Greg's question. It's hard to imagine what will persuade Republicans that Perry is less electable than Romney? Several months of campaigning, including millions of dollars of paid media (certainly going to happen) and, perhaps, strong messaging from conservative opinion leaders.
Once again: I've long been convinced that Perry had an excellent chance at the nomination. I believe now that he's one of two real viable candidates (with I suppose a very small sliver of viability remaining for Palin). But his poll numbers now don't really tell us anything that we didn't know two months ago. At this point, trying to look deeper into the internals of the polls to learn what Republicans really think about Perry (or, to a large extent, any of the candidates) isn't going to help, because most Republicans at this point don't know very much about the candidates. They will, but not yet.