The CNN story fails to mention that Bachmann only narrowly defeated Texas Congressman and libertarian favorite Ron Paul, 4823 (29%) to 4671 (28%). Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty finished a distant third and shortly thereafter ended his presidential campaign. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and new entry to the race, Texas Governor Rick Perry, did not actively participate in the Iowa straw poll.
After a busy weekend in Iowa and South Carolina, the Republican presidential race moves forward with what looks to be a three-way contest among upstart Michele Bachmann, newcomer Rick Perry and perceived front-runner Mitt Romney.
Rep. Michele Bachmann
Bachmann, a U.S. House member from Minnesota, seeks momentum after winning the Iowa GOP straw poll — a preliminary contest that knocked former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty out of the race after a disappointing third-place finish.
Meanwhile, the Republican race got a new and potentially formidable candidate in Perry, the Texas governor who announced his bid Saturday before a conservative group in South Carolina.
Gov. Rick Perry
At some point, both Bachmann and Perry figure to go after Romney, whose campaign war chest make him the front-runner at this point.
"We've got a three-person race now," said Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of a non-partisan political report. "Romney, Perry and Bachmann."
|Rep. Ron Paul|
|Former Gov. Mitt Romney|
Bachmann, a tea party favorite, will probably fall short when it comes to addressing the economic issues which will undoubtedly dominate the 2012 election. While Ron Paul's libertarian niche in the GOP continues to grow, traditional Republicans still dominate. I expect that, given Paul's enthusiastic young supporters, the congressman may stay in the campaign all the way to the convention. I expect Bachmann might actually edge out Romney when it comes to total delegates won and Romney may be out of the race before she is.
I'd put my money on Texas Governor Rick Perry accepting the GOP nomination at the 2012 convention. Perry's economic message resonates as the country continues to be plagued with high unemployment and the prospect of a double dip recession. Perry also is acceptable to social conservatives and is liked by many tea party types. Perry's weaknesses in terms of nomination issues is that he is more of a moderate on immigration (understandable given the number of Mexican-Americans living in Texas) and his rhetoric suggests he would be more of an interventionist on foreign policy than many increasingly isolationist-leaning Republicans would like.
Bottom line, Perry is a strong, forceful speaker who hits most issues that resonate with most Republicans and most Americans. With his being able to point to the economic success of Texas during these turbulent times, I expect Perry will be a very formidable candidate in the difficult contest to dney President Obama a second term.