Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are in it for the long haul

After the Iowa Caucus concluded early Wednesday morning, the dust settled to reveal three winners, but only two long-term candidates. Mitt Romney pulled off a less than stellar victory over Rick Santorum, while Ron Paul came in a strong third. None of the other candidates came close to matching the top three presidential hopefuls.

Soon after the caucus, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry re-evaluated their campaigns with Bachmann dropping out and Perry vowing to stay in the race until the South Carolina primary on January 21st. While this race is far from over, it is beginning to take shape. With Bachmann gone and Perry almost irrelevant, there are five Republicans left looking to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Jon Huntsman has remained an invisible man since he entered the race for President. He has failed to gain any traction among the conservative electorate, and has raised very little money to fund his campaign. Although he might surprise a few people in New Hampshire on Tuesday, he does not have the money, organization, or support to make it to Super Tuesday and will likely drop out of the running if he does not perform well in the Granite state.

The candidacy of Newt Gingrich has been floundering since a few weeks before the Iowa caucus and is not going anywhere anytime soon. His fourth place finish on Tuesday hurt him badly, and his finances and campaign organization leave much to be desired. With his falling numbers, Gingrich would be lucky to win any state before Super Tuesday.

Probably one of the more surprising stories of the campaign season has been the sudden rise of Rick Santorum, whose peak came at just the right moment: He came within eight votes of winning the Iowa caucus. As impressive as Santorum's near victory was, it will not reflect the voting trend in later states. According to a recent poll conducted by the Washington Times, Rick Santorum's support only rose four percent in New Hampshire after his performance in the Iowa caucus. Even if the momentum of the caucus were moving more in Santorum's direction, he has still shown himself to be a mediocre fundraiser. The former Pennsylvania Senator will not be able to sustain his campaign on a shoestring budget as he did in Iowa. A nationwide campaign requires a great deal of money, which he just does not have.

The only two candidates with the resources, money, and organization to run a national campaign are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

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