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Former Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., Tennessee Democrat, predicted that the Perry missteps — comments on global warming, creationism in public schools and the Fed remark — had opened the door for other GOP candidates.

“I happen to think this field is not done yet,” Mr. Ford said on “Meet the Press. “The way that Perry got into this race has created a path. … Romney is not as loved by the party as he’d like to be. Perry certainly suggests that he is not as serious. Does that open up for [former New York Mayor Rudolph W.] Giuliani or Christie? I think it does.”

Mr. Christie and Mr. Ryan each shot down reports — again — last week that they would run. But Mr. Rove, who heads the influential pro-Republican American Crossroads political action committee, said Sunday that both men have been contacted by supporters.

“My suspicion is that both of them are going to have to give at least some consideration to the kind of encouragement they’re getting,” Mr. Rove said.

Mrs. Palin and Mr. Giuliani have said they are considering last-minute entrances into the race.

The buzz around Mrs. Palin was stoked last week with the release by her political action committee of a slick, campaign-style video of the former Alaska governor working the enthusiastic crowds a few days earlier at the Iowa State Fair. The patriotic video closes with a sunset-lit shot of a roaring grizzly.