PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Republican presidential contest really has heated up with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry viewed as front runners but the race is still wide open.

Don Adams of the Independence Tea Party organization says Perry has the lead in national polling but his organization rates it dead even between Romney and Perry after last week’s debate. And he says the large local organization was polled on a different question.

“We also asked the question would you prefer a candidate who was ideologically pure or would you prefer a candidate who’s more likely to win. Almost two-thirds of our respondents said they prefer a candidate who can win,” says Adams.

David Thornburgh of the Fels institute at Penn says the front runner status of Rick Perry may not last.

“If we were four years ago this would have been a race between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. So lots can change in a short amount of time. My concern if we’re looking at Rick Perry is he’s going to turn more and more into a sort of Republican Howard Dean. What he says and the way he says it is very volatile,” says Thornburgh.

For more, click here to listen to the podcast:

Reported By Special Contributor Larry Kane, KYW Newsradio

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE