Last night, most were thinking that Perry would quit (I have to "reassess") and Bachmann would stay. Instead, Michele Bachmann has decided to suspend her campaign. And her absence will benefit who ??? Some say Santorum. Others say Perry.
I am thinking that Bachmann got in touch with Rick Perry (who initiated the contact is not important) and Perry decided to stay in the race, because of that imagined conversation.
If not, certainly his staying is a timely one. There can be no doubt that Perry is more the conservative than Santorum. Don't expect a strong conservative victory in New Hampshire, but South Carolina and Florida might be different, very different.
If you prefer Gingrich, be somewhat encouraged in spite of his 4th place finish. Newt's fall from grace, in Iowa, had everything to do with the fact that he did not have the funds to "fight back" in the ad-wars world of nasty politics. Keep this fact in mind: 45% of all political ads in Iowa were directed against Newt Gingrich.
The thinking was clearly this: Newt is tangled up in the ropes; now is the time to work for a knockout. But he survived. Problem: he still does not have the funds needed to defend himself, effectively. Will Big Money comes to Newt's rescue? I doubt it but it could happen. One thing for certain, in my opinion, is that Santorum will not beat out Mitt Romney.
Understand that Rick Santorum lost his Senate bid for a third term by a record 17 point margin back in 2006, the largest margin in Senate history. He is not the fiscal conservative he pretends to be (a big dog earmark type) and he has been inconsistent on a number of issues. You don't know this because no one has taken him seriously . . . . . . . . . . . . until now.
Will Mitt be the GOP choice? Probably. All we can do is hope that his VP choice will be a conservative. The rumor is that he is looking at New Hampsire Senator, Kelly Ayotte. She is a past Attorney General and a TEA Party candidate, voted into office this past 2010. She took Judd Gregg's seat. Gregg was and is one of favorite politicians. Her election effort was supported by McCain, Santorum, the First Lady - Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney.
Things could be worse.