There are thirty-five days until the Iowa caucuses. Conservatives have been evaluating Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Perry to determine who will best represent their views. They have been trying to find an alternative to Mitt Romney.
Yesterday, the Herman Cain campaign imploded. It is over. Cain is done. His followers need a place to go. The latest Insider Advantage Survey has Cain with 10% support of the American electorate. That 10% is now up for grabs.
14% of Iowans are undecided. This 14% is up for grabs. Literally one quarter of Iowan support is packaged and ready for the taking. Ron Paul is polling well at 13% but unlikely to pick up any additional support, the same goes for two great candidates in Santorum and Huntsman.
That leaves Gingrich with a soft 28%. The polls have swung wildly to Palin and the Donald, neither will be president. The same will prove true with Gingrich. Gingrich still has no money and no Iowa infrastructure. He continues to believe this is a winning strategy, it is not. Gingrich spent no money last month in Iowa. Someone else will be forming his narrative. He has little in the way of door-knockers and phone callers. This isn’t a hopeful future. Some Newt supporters will argue that he will be the recipient of Cain’s supporters, but not so fast.
Newt is withstanding the attacks now, but as his history of divorce, UNconservative positions and lobbying begins being discussed again, he will wither.
That will leave Bachmann and Perry. Bachmann has about 10% support while Perry is stuck at 7%. True believers trust Bachmann. She has been on the front lines leading the opposition to Obama since his inauguration. She is one of us. But she has no money, an uninspiring tax plan and a lack of depth in the debates. Even if she were to win Iowa, there seems little chance that she could win South Carolina or Florida. If Bachmann gains traction, griffinelection.com will be her biggest supporter, until then, there isn’t really a path to victory for her.
That leaves Perry who has run a tight ship since the worst gaffe of all time. He has spent almost $3Million dollars in Iowa. He has a campaign infrastructure on the ground there and in South Carolina. He has muscular super PACS working on his behalf. He has released a flat tax plan and an energy plan. And he still has money. In fact, he has $20 million to spend in Iowa. Only Romney can match that. As Iowan conservatives look for the candidate to coalesce around, Perry will come into view as the guy.
Yesterday he called on Geithner and Bernanke to step down. He rebuked the $8B Fed/bank secret bailout. He promised to repeal Dodd/Frank and Obamacare. He understands the nuance of immigration policy. He is a social conservative that gets it. He is for free markets. He is the last chance to take the White House, otherwise we can go ahead and begin discussing Bob McDonnell, Mike Pence and Sam Brownback for 2016.
Perry can do a lot to solidify this himself by churning out stellar, winning, in-depth debate performances in December.
The latest poll shows something else interesting, Rick Perry has 53% of Hispanic support. That is amazing. That kind of support indicates that he could take a large slice of the Hispanic vote in the General. That is enough to put him over the top against Obama in New Mexico, North Carolina and Florida.
You don’t have to love Perry, but the reality is that he is the guy to beat Romney. The Iowan grassroots is in charge now. If they pull this off, South Carolina and Florida will follow. Over the next thirty days, Perry can spend, campaign and debate his way to victory. Help him Obi Won Kenobi, he’s our only hope.