Was Iowa good for you? All that talk about three-way ties must have made conservatives across the political spectrum very uncomfortable. So let’s tidy up a bit.
Here’s what I thought would happen, and what actually happened:
Romney 26% 24.6%
Santorum 24% 24.5%
Paul 21% 21.4%
Gingrich 15% 13.3%
Perry 8% 10.3%
Bachmann 5% 5.0%
Not bad, I think.
Obviously, it was a terrible night for Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann who now have to be considered the first casualties of the race. Perry has the money to carry on and could find some sympathy in South Carolina and Florida, but he’ll struggle to get any positive press out of Iowa. Better he should keep his money and spend it on a Senate race. Newt also underperformed and needs a great showing in the next three states to remain viable. Ron Paul did about as well as can be expected, but he’s just not going to be the nominee. Did he gain influence in the party? Yes. Let’s see what that actually gets him.
Rick Santorum is the big winner here and with debates this weekend he has the chance to capitalize on the momentum. He’d better make sure that he’s prepared to defend himself because Mitt, Newt and Ron Paul are going to throw everything at him. If he does well he could place, after Mitt, in New Hampshire and set himself up for a better showing in the southern states. If he falters under the pressure, he’s probably toast. Right now I would say that he’s the best hope for the Tea Party and religious conservatives. And sweater vest manufacturers (who I hope are in the USA).
And Mitt? If he had kept his mouth shut on Monday and Tuesday about his chances of winning, he could have feigned surprise at his good showing. Since he set expectations higher, though, his performance has to be seen as underwhelming. He’ll win New Hampshire next week, but now it has to be more than a solid win. Anything under 40% is a Pyrrhic victory. He also has to keep his composure during the debates and not come off as screechy or too aggressive. That would be seen as desperate.
So now it’s on to the Granite State where global warming is killing the skiing industry. Move along citizens; nothing to see here.
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