Okay, kiddies, now that we're a mere 5 months to New Hampshire and Iowa, the race for the GOP Presidential nomination is in full-swing. Heck, we even have our first drop out. That's right, we no longer have Tim Pawlenty around to ignore. Too soon? No, just no one cares? Ouch.
In the interim, we have the entrance of GOP Savior No. 1,387 - Rick Perry. Waiting in the wings are grossly unpopular in his home state, Chris Christie, let's end Medicare, Paul Ryan, and the poor man's Tim Pawlenty, George Pataki. Not exactly a thrilling list for sure.
Okay, so let's start grading the contendahs:
Rick Perry: He's been in for what, a week? Well, he's become the frontrunner, and has turned into a rich man's Michelle Bachmann. He's just as nutty, but has been elected to state-wide office, and doesn't have a creepy husband. On the other hand, he advocated for the end of Social Security and Medicare (which he has since retracted), his "Texas miracle" is based on minimum wage jobs, and he's a bit too Bush-like. In fact, I'll go ahead and call him a poor man's George Bush. Still, the Tea Party is basically all of Bush's diehard supporters, so that isn't a bad thing. Also, because Perry can be "folksy," the media will like him, and he won't get completely crushed against Obama. Overall, not a bad pick for the GOP Primary voter.
Mitt Romney: Mittens is still the flip-flopping, extremely creepy and weird guy he always was. To be honest, I think he's done, because everyone knows who he is, and if they were going to vote for him, they would've done so before. Some would argue that Bachmann loses the most by Perry being in the race because Perry appeals to the same base of voters. I disagree. Mittens loses his biggest cache - the frontrunner status. Without it, is there any reason to pay attention to the Mittster?
Michelle Bachmann: Here's the thing about Michelle Bachmann, even though she's nuts, and even though her husband is a little bit flamey (though totally not gay, allegedly), she still has a strong appeal to the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party (also known as the average GOP Primary Voter). After all, she was on the ground first. Perry's presence hurts her, but she won't go down without a fight. At the same time, being elected to a statewide office is actually an important step in running for President, and so go down she will. Now, I can see Bachmann on the ticket, but if Perry is the nominee, this is less likely.
Ron Paul: Like Bachmann, he has deep levels of support, though he's not as crazy. The problem with Ron Paul is that the faction he appeals to isn't big enough in the GOP and he has no crossover appeal. Also, everyone knows who he is. If he was going to be the nominee, he'd be up big by now.
Herman Cain: Recently, a Tea Partier told a Latino Democratic Congressman from New Mexico (which is 45% Latino), who's parents held elective office in the United States, to get out of public office to make room for an American. I mention this because no matter how conservative Herman Cain is, he is still an African American, and thus, still suspect to a significant portion of the GOP. So Cain will make waves, but he won't get the nod.
John Huntsman: There is no way in hell John Huntsman will take the GOP nomination. None. He believes in evolution, agrees with scientists on Global Warming, and used to work for Barack Obama. But, I'm getting the feeling that he's okay with that. Given the anger with Obama from the Left and the Center, I think that Huntsman is setting himself up for an independent campaign. And I'm not alone - Nate Silver thinks so too.
As far as the other candidates in the race are concerned, I don't see any of them going anywhere.