The Candidates Matter
The other litmus test is Iowa, where there have been few credible polls conducted in recent weeks. But the former leader in Iowa, Mrs. Bachmann, has since seen her numbers slump badly in national polls. Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the running, meanwhile, while Mr. Romney has yet to fully commit to the state for fear of raising expectations.
Mr. Cain’s winning Iowa would be a potential game-changer. Iowa has not historically been as important for Republican voters as for Democrats, but a win there would give rank-and-file Republicans — many of whom like Mr. Cain but are not convinced that he is viable — confidence that a vote for him would not be wasted.
I don't believe that for a second. Herman Cain has no chance of winning the nomination. He is a vanity candidate with no organization, skill or seriousness. He would have no chance of winning a general election. These "predictive" models have value when judging credible candidates. But Herman Cain is not a serious candidate. Only Rick Perry has a theoretical chance of beating Romney. I say theoretical because Perry is a terrible candidate. Here is a predictive model I believe in - terrible candidates will campaign terribly. Romney knows what he is doing. Perry doesn't. Perry's hope is that the Media (especially Fox) decides to go after Romney. Fox has settled on Romney I think and the rest of the Media seems unlikely to completely turn on him. There will be no NBC October 2008 type debate to try and topple Romney. Absent some Romney scandal emerging, I think the GOP race is over. More . . .
Contrast the GOP race this year with the Democratic race in 2008 (or even the 2008 GOP race). In the 2008 Dem race, two heavyweight pols went at it through June because both were terrific pols. Even the GOP race featured 2 competent politicians (McCain and Romney.) There is one competent national politician in the GOP race this year - that pol is Romney.
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