I was just listening to Rick Perry’s concession speech, and he announced he was returning to Texas to “reassess” his campaign. Well, I think his reassessment is going to find him leaving the field because he finished fifth with 10 percent – I was under the impression he was going to South Carolina to campaign.
But like Tim Pawlenty before him, he may have decided that if he can’t spend scads of money and win Iowa, he’s not going to win anywhere – despite the fact that, unlike Pawlenty, Rick did manage to finish ahead of Michele Bachmann.
Yet Bachmann is planning on staying in despite the paltry 5% or so she received. Well, she could conceivably get a chunk of those Perry votes but I sort of doubt it given the Gardasil controversy.
So let’s say Perry is out. I suspect that his voters would most likely go to Newt Gingrich and here’s why: they’re both plain-spoken Southerners who have a relatively pragmatic approach to the issues. Mitt Romney won’t benefit because he’s pretty much plateaued at his 25% support ceiling and Rick Santorum is more of a social conservative – again, it goes back to the Gardasil question. I think Ron Paul has also hit his ceiling of support as well, particularly when it’s revealed that independents and renegade Democrats bolstered his Iowa totals. Once we get to closed primary states that advantage won’t be there.
There you have it: a simple Iowa caucus postmortem. I’m sort of sorry to see Perry go since he was the top of my second tier of candidates.
Update: Maybe Bachmann will be out. Bummer.