If you didn’t pay attention, Romney edged out Rick Santorum in Iowa. Ron Paul came in third (although far enough behind in third). Newt Gingrich was fourth, Perry was fifth and Bachmann was sixth.
It’s all Romney’s to win (and lose), now. Here’s how I see it:
– Rick Santorum is carried purely by Evangelical and religious right votes. He doesn’t have the power to stay in the race, due to his lack of financial support and campaign strategy. For example, in New Hampshire, the religious vote is weak, so he’ll probably end up fourth or fifth. People in Florida may totally forget he’s even running. The Huckabee Effect will see to his demise in the primaries.
– Rick Perry is reassessing his campaign. If I’ve learned anything watching these races, that means he’s going to resign the race. Rick Perry supporters seem to lean towards Mitt Romney over Newt Gingrch and Ron Paul. New England, parts of the Southeast and the West are strong for Mitt Romney.
– Michelle Bachmann has no chance. Rick Santorum stole her religious votes. She’s barely a soundblip anymore. Thank God.
– Newt Gingrich is too scattered to get enough votes other than the normal “Young College Republican Hipster” and “I’m Easily Swayed by Snake Oil Salesmen” votes. And apparently, everyone on Capital Hill hates him, and are not afraid to say so.
– Ron Paul has a chance, but I think the problem is that Ron Paul is weak in regions that have the most influence on who wins the primary. Too few influential people speak for him. And his campaign is not working hard enough. If he truly wanted to win, he should have come in second in Iowa. I think by missing that, he’s now going to lose support in other states. Like New Hampshire, Colorado, Arizona and Missouri.
– Mitt Romney has Senator McCain handing him yet another endorsement today. That’s a big pull to the older voting crowd. The only way he can lose if he gaffs so big that he literally kills his own campaign. Or someone pulls an Edwards on him (comes forward with his love child).
Again, that’s how I see it, and apparently I’m not the only one. It could be close, it could be a blow out, depending on how Rick Santorum rides his almost win in Iowa. If he holds out for two more primaries (New Hampshire and South Carolina), he might kill Ron Paul’s chances. If he hangs on until Florida, he’ll definitely kill Ron Paul’s chances.
The only person who can make Mitt Romney lose this race is Mitt Romney. And that’s always a possibility.