Thursday, January 19, 2012

And The Wheels Keep Spinning 'Round...

More traction trouble on the Mitt Romney express today. Early this morning, various news outlets reported that after a final tally of votes from the Iowa caucases, television-evangelist look-alike Rick Santorum actually came out slightly ahead of Mitt Romney. The final vote count has Santorum ahead of Romney by a scant 34 votes. While this doesn't seem like much, it does change the narrative of Romney steamrolling through the primaries. Instead of being 2-0 thus far with a healthy lead in South Carolina, Romney is now 1-1. In addition to this, the AP reported this morning that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was dropping out of the race and endorsing Newt Gingrich. The reason why this is news for Romney is that while Gallup has him with a 17 point lead in national polls, Rasmussen shows him with only a 3 point lead! The Perry endorsement is all but certain to consolidate support from what i like to call the "psycho-wing" of the republican party (which constitutes roughly 82% of the GOP) behind the G-man. It's worth wondering at this point if a total consolidation of the wack-job vote behind a single candidate, be it Gingrich or Santorum, would be enough to derail the Willard Winnebago. I also wonder who is the tougher opponent for Obama, the moderate Romney, who would appeal to moderates and independents, or a more conservative firebrand, who could potentially ignite the base but may lose the center? Will be fascinating to watch it all unfold.

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