Michele Bachmann certainly posted a convincing win in the straw poll, but any impact it might have is blunted by Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement that he was entering the presidential race. Bachmann’s win may demonstrate she’s a serious candidate, but Perry is now the 900-pound gorilla, making everything that has happened up to this point, including the straw poll, moot. It’s now a whole new race.
— Peter Roff, a contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report and a senior fellow at the Institute for Liberty, was once political director at GOPAC.
Bachmann and Paul got all the oxygen they need to stay through the early contests. Santorum and Cain will find, like Charlie Sheen, that surviving is not winning. Gingrich, Huntsman, and McCotter look like walking dead. Romney and Perry’s strengths are elsewhere, so they survive to fight another day. And Romney should learn from his meager Ames total that he’s nuts if he bothers to contest the Iowa caucuses.
— Larry J. Sabato is director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
Editor’s note: This piece has been amended since its initial posting.