You can’t turn on the TV right now without hearing about the roller coaster that is the Iowa Caucus. Their is nearly constant blathering about the polls, and who is rising and falling and who will end up on top.
“Winning” the caucus is defined as getting the highest percentage of votes. This totally misses the point of the real role of the Iowa Caucus.
Rick Santorum may very well win the caucus or come very close, but it will be a hollow victory. He has no organization in any other state and no money to set one up. He will be lucky to have enough plane fare to get to New Hampshire and he certainly will not be able to get ads up in South Carolina or Florida. He is done.
I have been a fan of Newt, but Iowa has been a buzz-saw for his campaign. He is off message due to Romney’s negative ads, and has no no money to get ads up in response and no ability to raise more. His campaign is effectively over.
Michele Bachmann is also done. She may get fewer votes in the caucus than she did in the straw poll. What organization she has is disintegrating around her. She staked everything on Iowa. She needs to return to the House and lead the Tea Party Caucus and start solidifying support for a Bachmann Speakership in the next Congress.
That leaves Rick Perry as the conservative alternative to Romney. He will make it out of Iowa in the top four, with the necessary resources to continue his campaign to New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond.
Perry has a better organization in South Carolina than he does in Iowa, and he should be easily able to defeat Romney there thanks to Perry’s brand of social conservatism and tea party values.
Ron Paul will also be a help to Perry as it will focus conservatives on the need to rally behind a candidate in order to stop not only Romney, but Paul as well.
Iowa has done it’s job, it has picked the conservative candidate and I believe the next President of the United States: Rick Perry.