I think the analysis is very premature. In the end, you're going to have four candidates in the Republican primary.
1) The Establishment Guy: Mitt Romney. His argument is the McCain argument, a moderate who doesn't frighten people on the otherside, offers a better
economic platform, and has the best theoretical chance of beating Obama.
2) The Conservative Flavor of the Week: Michelle Bachmann, I mean Rick Perry, no Herman Cain, oh wait...whomever the conservative base decides they
like in a given week will rise up the polls, and stay there until it is determined they voted wrong on a key issue. By that, I mean anything. Cain
has a chance of staying there only because he doesn't have much of a record to have to defend, and he speaks well.
3) The Religious Zealot: Mike Huckabee when he was nice fit the role last year. Look for Rick Santorum to edge out Bachmann to claim this spot, and
try to win on social issues.
4) Ron Paul: There will be 15-20% of the people voting for him in Republican primaries. Not all of them will be natural Republicans as the
supporters will be registered and will vote, and can win in caucuses.
So in this scenario, who wins?
Mitt Romney still has odds in my book. Especially if foreign policy comes to the front. Cain's lack of experience in that area will hurt him.
Herman Cain can win if he sells a strong jobs platform and manages to push out some of the rest of the field. Romney has the establishment vote
locked up, so Cain needs fewer rivals.
I can't see Rick Santorum winning, ever.
And Ron Paul. Ron Paul can win, but only in one scenario. If the dollar truly crashes and the banks go belly up in Europe, as seems very possible,
the idea of a gold standard might just be the winning ticket. If people see massive inflation and threat of financial collapse looming because of the
banking system, he just might do it.
If there was a foreign policy issue, however, like open war in the middle east, he can't win. Republicans are far too hawkish to vote for
But he'd be a really interesting independent in that scenario, though I doubt that would happen.
The only wild card left in all this is Palin. For some reason, I still believe she jumps in, and she brings massive support of her own. Republican
women will vote for her in droves, and it could be enough.
edit on 29-9-2011 by cassandranova because: grammar