We have less than a MONTH until the conservative electorate wakes up to see the shadow of the elite Republican establishment, and collectively hands the nomination to a "big government conservative", or alternatively it ignores the shadow and consolidates behind a true champion of conservative principles. That's correct, we have 3 primaries (New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida) all before Punxsutawney Phil makes his grand prediction on Groundhog Day. Then what 4 more years of squishy big government winter?
What exactly is a "big government conservative" anyhow? I'm sure it's as mythical as a jackalope.
I understand that primaries are for knocking off the rough edges, refining the candidates, and making sure that we put our best candidate forward. However, All of our candidates have been programmed by consultants to take a stance based on polling, data, and strategy that may "knock down" their candidate. If the message isn't tested, analyzed, focus grouped, and deemed approved by a marketing team... then the candidate should avoid the subject at all cost... right?
Iowa did not winnow the field.
It did in fact removed Rep. Michele Bachmann from contention. Without a win in Iowa, Rep. Bachmann wouldn't have gotten the funding necessary to carry on. She was a great candidate, and hopefully, she'll continue forward, she's got a great career ahead of her as a champion of conservatism. However Iowa didn't winnow her out, the lack of funding did.
From CNN Entrance Polls:
Look at the age groups. Iowa was split by age. If you were 39 and under, likely chances are your ideology got the best of you, and you voted for Ron Paul, or had a little more sense and voted for Santorum over Paul.
If you were 40 and older chances are you bought the "electability" argument from the media, as well as the negative ads on Newt, and you voted for Romney, or... just couldn't help feeling bad for a guy that visited 99 counties, and established his Pro-Life bonafides and decided to reward him for his effort (a cruel joke to play on such a nice guy, giving false hope like that).
Primaries are better at determining real support. New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida will be the last opportunity to take momentum away from Mitt Romney. Romney will likely take New Hampshire, and downplay a loss in South Carolina, if Romney wins solidly in New Hampshire, takes 3rd in S.C, and wins in Florida, it may end the hopes of any "anti-Romney".
So why are we looking for someone that is "Not Romney"?
I don't understand why we're looking for "not-Romney" when we should just be looking for the most conservative candidate that can win.
The age difference above shows that a small plurality in Iowa agrees with he media establishment, that Romney is the most electable, and therefore he should be the nominee.
Romney has wanted a fractured conservative coalition. Nobody else is likely to leave the race until after S.C. unless they run out of money (I'm predicting that Santorum either drops out after a dismal performance in N.H. or holds on to hope and fails miserably again in S.C.)
The lesson of Iowa is, conservatives should consolidate BEFORE the caucus, otherwise they allow the media to dictate expectations for entire the month of January.
So this is my plea... It's time to for conservatives to consolidate. We need to air it out, we're either with Newt, or we're with Perry. Without consolidation, Romney skates in S.C. by downplaying its significance and focuses on building momentum in FL the same way McCain did it in 2008... and then declares victory going into Super Tuesday.
If consolidation doesn't happen, Romney becomes the nominee. I can think of worse outcomes -- not many, but I can imagine a lot better outcomes to the contrary, and I'd rather think positively.