Romney drew the support of 23 percent of likely caucus-goers in Iowa – identified based on interest, chance of voting and past participation – ahead of Paul, at 21 percent. They are followed by Santorum at 15 percent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 14 percent, Gingrich at 13 percent and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 6 percent. – NBC poll: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul neck-and-neck in Iowa; Newt Gingrich in 5th
Even Rick Perry is making a comeback of sorts, in spite of his gafferiffic gems. He’s actually ahead of Newt Gingrich, who’s now in fifth, in the latest NBC/Marist Iowa polling.
Ed Morissey is evidently hoping a humbled Newt can come back.
Not if Romney wins Iowa, though most reports are making the case that Ron Paul’s support is deeper than he’s getting credit.
However, it’s now very obvious Michele Bachmann didn’t go to school on Hillary’s mistakes in ’08, while Mitt Romney learned from Obama’s long slog strategy.
Women have to be a lot smarter than this to beat the guys at a game they’ve got down.
Politico’s Maggie Haberman writes on Bachmann’s demise today:
“I think to a certain extent it was a smoke and mirrors operation,” said her former campaign manager, Ed Rollins. “The debates kept her in it and the end of the day that’s not the substance [of a campaign]…We got her to a point where people looked at her [but], just as other candidates found out, once the spotlight goes on you, you better be prepared.”
He added, “It was a full-scale rush from the day that I signed on to the day I left…there wasn’t the time to properly plan for a campaign.”
Monte Shaw, an Iowa GOP state central committee member who is neutral in the primary, echoed that sentiment.
“She peaked so soon after getting in the race that she didn’t have the infrastructure in place to lock down the goodwill that she had at that time,” said Shaw, adding that at the time she was still seeing crushes of people at her events, she should have had a field staff in place to take advantage of it by, among other things, signing up names. Instead, he said, “she was still trying to hire field staff.”
Of course, it doesn’t help when you have a candidate like Bachmann who’s forever letting whoppers slip through her lips. The national audience got a glimpse of this through her attack on Rick Perry and the HPV vaccine allegedly causing “mental retardation,” which was false. Going off half-cocked is fine when you’re railing at a rally from the Tea Party caucus bandstand. But when you’re running for President of the United States it’s a different ballgame.
However, Michele Bachmann’s crashing end doesn’t negate the historical fact that she was the first female Republican to win a straw poll, primary or caucus in the GOP’s history. That’s something, though not nearly enough.
Let’s also not pretend that right wing Republican primary voters are ready to give the nomination to a female. It’s a fantasy.