The loss of just about half of his support has led Newt to admit now that he is not likely to win the Iowa Caucus but at the same time, he believes that a likely third or even fourth place showing will still it make him possible for him to remain competitive beyond the Hawkeye State’s nomination contest.
That assessment is actually true, but short of a first or second place showing, Newt’s future viability will rely on two things. First, he must hope that if Mitt Romney wins, he does not win by very much. Then Newt must hope for a third place showing. While a fouth place finish will not derail his candidacy, it will make fundraising and the establishment of momentum quite an uphill battle as he moves ahead.
If Newt can fisinsh third or second and keep Romney from winning by a very large margin, he will remain competetive and may be come the benefiicary of an anti-Romney phenomenom.
If opposition to Romney is as strong among conservatives as many believe, victories in Iowa and New Hampshire could finally force the anti-Romney vote to charge behind one final alternative to Romney. Newt is in the best position to be that alternative candidate but anything less than a fourth place finish in Iowa will make that impossible.
Meanwhile Michele Bachmann says “We’re believing in a miracle because we know, I know, the one who gives miracles,” .
At Oral Roberts University, Bachmann’s alma mater she told ABC ;
“We’re going to see an astounding result on Tuesday night — miraculous,”
Current polling has apparently forced both Bachmann and Gingrich to be unconditionally honest about the results tomorrow, for under the circumstances, Bachmann does in fact need a miracle to pull off a finish above 6th place. For Gingrich, given the nearly 41 percent of Iowa caucus goers who remain undecided on the eve of the contest, a better than expected showing is not out of the question and as a Gingrich supporter a biased optimism has me still believing that he could surprise everyone with a third or second place finish. However, when factoring in current voter trends, Newt’s poorly run campaign and lack of an organization on the ground, along with the undeniable momentum behind Rick Santorum, logic would dictate that Newt is right. He will not win the caucus tomorrow night.
As for the other candidates, Ron Paul is seeing the helium in his balloon be overwhelmed as the weight of the oxygen in the atmosphere surrounding the reality of his reckless national security views and general unelectability brings his number back to the floor. In an early afternoon speech to supporters, Paul reminded his fans that the Caucus will involve small numbers of people but the message they send will be a big one and he urged his supporters to stick together and be sure to show up at their proper caucus locations.
Mitt Romney spent most of the day trying to remain focussed on the one person which unites him and his rivals together in their desire to defeat in November…..Barack Obama. That focus was designed to play on the perception that he is the one Republican who has the best chance of actually being the one who can defeat Obama. The hope there is that as Romney solidifies his frontrunner status in Iowa, there is a good chance that the large undecided bloc of voters will break in his favor and provide him not only with a win, but a bigger than expected win that could make it possible to wrap up the nomination sooner rather than later.
Rick Perry, the wildcard going in to tomorrow night, spent his time on the campaign trail trying to make sure that his supporters don’t jump ship and while trying to also give those caught up in the surge for Rick Santorum reason to think twice about actually casting their ballots for the wrong Rick. A new Perry ad attacks Santorum for his willingness to defend pork barrel spending.
Perry goes in to tomorrow night as the spoiler. Between his heavy ad buy and a good deal of retail political campaigning in Iowa, he remains the one candidate left who could perform better than expected and could benefit from a surge that has gone undetected by the polls. The strength of such an undetected surge will not be enough to allow Perry to finish in one the top two or three positions, but he could pull the type of numbers that may prevent people like Sanoturm and Gingrich from outpolling Ron Paul.
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