Texas Governor Rick Perry, who initiated a controversial Christian prayer summit, is the new favorite 2012 presidential candidate among establishment Republicans, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

On her show Thursday night, Maddow noted that key staffers for GOP candidate Newt Gingrich left his campaign and are moving towards Perry. The Texas governor also received an important endorsement from Republican National Committee member Henry Barbour.

Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below:

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