GOP Game of Presidential Musical Chairs Continues

Posted on December 6, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

By Carl Chancellor

The recent announcement by businessman Herman Cain that he was suspending his campaign is once again completely reshuffling the deck of GOP presidential hopefuls.

Cain, the one-time front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination who struck a chord with his straight-forward style and “9-9-9” tax plan, suspended his campaign in the wake of allegations of a 13-year extramarital affair with an Atlanta woman. That allegation only added to his troubles stemming from earlier charges of sexual harassment.

With Cain’s departure, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich immediately surged to the top spot inching just ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has consistently been at or near the top and the only constant in this ever shifting field. Likewise, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum are all looking for their political fortunes to get a major boost from Cain’s exit.

With the first big test of the GOP presidential campaign coming on Jan. 3 at the often “make or break” Iowa caucuses, Gingrich is leading Romney. According to an NBC News poll, Gingrich has the support of 26 percent of likely Republican caucus participants in Iowa compared to 18 percent for Romney.

Still Iowa is seen by most pundits as “being anyone’s game” at this point. Clearly, Perry, Bachmann and Santorum have gone all in for the caucuses, although none of them has registered more than single-digit support in any of the recent polls prior to Cain’s departure. A poor showing by any of the three in Iowa could spell the end of their campaigns. The good news is, at least according to most polls, a majority of Iowa Republicans have yet to settle on a candidate.

Despite his recent showing in the polls, Gingrich is a late comer to Iowa, only opening his first campaign office in the state on Nov. 30, which puts him at a disadvantage.

Prior to his exit, Cain was in a dead heat with Gingrich, Romney and Congressman Ron Paul of Texas in the Iowa caucuses—all of them standing at around 20 percent. Cain is expected to throw his support behind Gingrich, who is a friend and a fellow Georgian.

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at www.turnergpa.com.
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