|What Happens Between the Iowa Caucus and the Florida Primary?|
What Happens Between the Iowa Caucus and the Florida Primary?
MIAMI-Now that the Iowa caucuses have made history by being the closest race ever, Mitt Romney won by a mere eight votes over RickSantorum, it's anybody's guess what will happen next, but that has not stopped the pundits from pontificating. So here are my thoughts.
Mitt Romney is potentially in trouble, at least in the short term, that is between now and the Jan. 21st South Carolina Primary. Why?
For the following reasons:
After years of campiagning Romney still cannot close the deal with social conservatives, which make up to 50% of the electorate in Republican Party primaries, 60% in Iowa.
Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman have both promised to "contrast" their records with that of Romney, this will potentially weaken the frontrunner.
The Manchester Union Leader, New's Hampshire's leading newspaper is also expected to go after Romney.
These developments allow Rick Santorum to "keep his powder dry" so to speak, after all, others are going after Romney for him.
Furthermore, Michelle Bachmann has now officially dropped out of the race, this is good news for Santorum. Whether she endorses Santorum or not, her supporters 50%-70%, and some staffers, will naturally gravitate toward his candidacy in the coming days and weeks.
While Romney will probably still win the New Hampshire primary, social conservatives make up a much smaller slice of the electorate in that state, the question will be by how much, he will be politically weakened going into South Carolina.
South Carolina, whose electorate is similar to that of Iowa, will be much more hospitable to a Santorum victory or yet another photo finish. It is also likely that this state will be the last stand for Gingrich and Perry, providing yet another boost to Santorum coming into Florida.
That brings us to the Florida primary on January 31st and its expensive media markets. This is where Santorum's ability to raise money and build an infrastructure in the state fast enough will be put to the test.
So will we decide the nomination as we did in 2008. That remains to be seen.