Now that Texas governor Rick Perry is in the race, the next two months are going to be both painful and decisive for frontrunner Mitt Romney. Perry is his only real competition, which leaves Romney with one crucial decision to make: to attack or not to attack?
Here’s how the field is likely to winnow down: Michele Bachmann, never a real contender, will begin to fade as the early hype surrounding her bid dies. Herman Cain will suffer a similar fate, though his charisma and natural poise certainly merit a talk show. Despite Ron Paul’s popularity, he’ll remain the Ralph Nader of the Right, simultaneously influential and ignorable, with even voters sympathetic to his views abandoning him once ballots start to get counted. If Jon Huntsman posts strong numbers this quarter in fundraising, he could become a factor. (Huntsman, apparently, continues to repulse conservatives, admitting he believes in evolution and global warming.) However, if Huntsman’s fundraising flatlines, he’ll probably follow T-Paw out the door.
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