Lots going on, a quick recap and some lessons:
- The demise of Cain and 9-9-9. Personal life "affairs" do matter!
- The rise and apparent fall of Newt. Negative attacks coupled with old baggage and likely un-electability will usually sink a campaign. Newts also made several controversial statements about the Executive and Legislative branches being able to veto Court decisions (contrary to Civics 101) and saying his nomination was inevitable was seen as arrogant by many. Also, the GOP Establishment worked overtime to deflate him as suburban independent female voters simply will not vote for him in November.
- Ron Paul - he will never be nominated, but is an effective protest vehicle for many. Neo-isolationism will not play over the long haul though and the Party will pull strings to stop him if he is seen as upsetting the apple cart. Worst case scenario for the GOP: Does Paul mount an independent run in November...
- Rick Perry - looking good on paper does not translate into an effective campaign or a particularly attractive candidate outside of the Texas Republic.
- Michelle Bachman - just not ready for prime time, core of supporters is too narrow and high profile misstatements have damaged her campaign. May be really running for Veep at this point.
- Ric Santorum - may well surprise in Iowa (more on this in the following post) and could emerge as the anti-Mitt flavor of the week.
- Mitt - slow, steady, controlled, and professional. Can't get over 25%, but this may be enough for the long haul. Finacial advantage and organization is huge!