Do this one thing, and you can win.
We are 48 days out from the Iowa Caucuses where a frontrunner is decided upon. The only thing for sure is that the race is still open. On this path, it is Romney's to lose, but if one single candidate could step forward and overcome his one weakness, that person could win the nomination and become the next president of the United States. The problem is that all of our candidates are so deeply flawed that none of them -- as they are now, can take this away.
But one thing is for sure, if a strong conservative were to rise up, Romney would lose and the candidate would beat Obama and that is a good thing for conservatives, the republican party and the country.
Rick Perry. Rick Perry needs to practice, practice, practice being articulate. His time has long passed. But, if Rick Perry could simply articulate his record and his views in a strong way he could still pay for enough ads in Iowa to win the Caucuses, receive a huge infusion of money to invest in South Carolina and Florida. Rick Perry has 20:1 odds of beating Romney, if he can do things right and remind us why he has never lost an election fight in his whole life. If Rick Perry could simply become strong enough to articulate his views as he did in the first half of Wednesday's debate, he could still be both the Romney and Obama slayer.
The field is so weak, anything could happen as Cain implodes and Newt inevitably falls, there is one final chance for Rick Perry to slip through and win Iowa. Conservatives are begging for a true and passionate defender of conservatism. If Rick Perry can simply be articulate he can win this thing but he has to re-ignite talks of a comeback before Thanksgiving so that people are talking about him around the kitchen table. That is the only way it could crescendo into an Iowa victory.
Herman Cain. Herman Cain can do one thing to become the nominee, he can affimatively prove to us that he has been set up by a media zeitgeist. He can release the NRA settlement, he can stop double-speaking and he can be clear. If Herman Cain can prove to women and evangelicals that he has been the victim of a "high tech lynching" then he will rise continually for 45 days. If he can't, then he is done.
The odds of Herman Cain knocking off Mitt Romney at this point are 30:1, but it is possible if he can show his true character. None of this means that voters are convinced that Cain is competent, but primary voters don't seem to care.
Cain's numbers are in free fall, people do not trust him over these sexual allegations. One woman can be ignored, two women is coincidence, three women raises eyebrows and four and five put the burden on him to prove otherwise. He isn't in criminal court, he is running for POTUS. He is guilty until he proves himself innocent, whether he likes it or not. If Herman Cain can simply prove he is telling the truth, he will raise $10 million in 3 days, become the poster boy to run against the media and go on to win Iowa, South Carolina and will be set up for a Romney Showdown.
Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich can do one thing to become the nominee, he cannot implode. Newt is rising. Sarah Palin was leading the polls before falling, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and now Herman Cain have all risen and fallen. It is finally Newt's turn. Newt has a 5:1 chance of beating Romney if he can hold it together. But as soon as he rises to 17-18%, we are going to be reminded why we didn't originally choose Newt, his hypocrisy, arrogance, adultery, mistruths, and sometimes non-conservative ideas will be back in our faces. If Newt can handle these attacks, he could become the consensus anti-Romney candidate. But to weather these valid attacks, it will be almost impossible. If Newt wants this nomination he needs to learn to weather the scrutiny that will undoubtedly come in three weeks. If Newt can't weather the coming storm, he is back to Fox News.
Michele Bachmann. Michele Bachmann has a 100:1 shot at winning the nomination, but to do so, she needs to be able to convince us that she is ready. Bachmann has not accomplished any great feats in the House, she has no executive experience and therefore she has to explain to us why she can turn things around. Her focus is always off though. She shares her great personal story and the fact that she is a true believer in conservatism, but we already believe her and its getting her nowhere. She needs a new message to convince us that she has something to add. Explain your plans, legislation and leadership, convince us that you are intelligent and ready to be a serious leader. Bachmann did an amazing job transforming herself from a tea party cheerleader that said unpresidential statements to a more responsible candidate that stayed focused on issues, but halfway through the transformation, she quit, it is as if somewhere during the summer she determined that she would stop remaking herself into a serious candidate. Bachmann thought she had gone far enough. She hasn't. She has never articulated more than talking points about why the Affordable Care Act is so terrible, yet she has based her re-election campaign on it. She has to re-brand her messaging and convince us she is the one. If she could do that, conservatives would wait in line overnight to vote for her.
Jon Huntsman. Jon Huntsman has more than one problem. He has to convince us why he's been running as a media darling rather than a conservative governor. There is a disconnect there that is difficult to understand. The republican primary is not the time to convince people how moderate you are as compared to republican primary voters. Maybe the terrible campaign he has run alone should disqualify him as being competent, but the governor has a decedent record. 45 days out, Huntsman is too close to Romney to win this thing. Huntsman would have to do more than one thing to win this. His chances of winning the nomination are 150:1. Next time, run as a conservative instead of bashing us with Candy Crawley and we'll take a look at you.
Ron Paul. Cannot win the nomination. He doesn't compromise on anything. We are a center-right country. Libertarianism may be the future of the republican party but it is not in 2012. Ron Paul has a 500:1 chance of winning. He won't win.
Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum shows brief moments of excellence. His odds of winning the nomination are 200:1, which isn't good. We don't like losers, and he lost his last race. Santorum has a conservative record, understands foreign policy and fiscal issues better than 2/3rds of the other candidates. But he has to obtain presidential poise if he is to win. Every debate, Santorum attacks, whines, frowns or lets out a frustrated smirk. None of these mannerisms are presidential and if Santorum has any chance of overcoming the odds, he needs to act presidential.
This is where we're at. Newt and Rick are the only long shots to beat Romney in the next 48 days. If republicans hope to take the White House in 2012, we must take out Romney before then.