Not surprisingly, the top three in the debate will also be the top three in the NH primary on Tuesday: Santorum, Gingrich, Romney (in no particular order). Perry will take 4th while Paul and Huntsman battle it out over who comes in last. Huntsman is my prediction for that. As bad and loony as Paul is in his foreign policy, it still beats someone who actually implemented Obama policies.
This of course takes us to South Carolina. Huntsman will be out at this point, I think, as he doesn’t have the support or the money – unless he magically comes in third on Tuesday. This will leave us 5 viable candidates – well, 4 viable candidates and Romney – for Florida which has the most delegates at this stage of the primaries.
After Florida, if there is no clear candidate (which I hope is the case), there will be a six-week period during which I think the various campaigns will reassess their strategies and perhaps even their campaign. If Perry doesn’t come in third in SC, I think that will be it for him and the remaining 3 candidates (Paul will also fall here in a lackluster showing). I think Gingrich will come away with Perry’s supporters due to Romney and Santorum having worse baggage than him.
It will make for a very interesting primary season even as I make my try for congressional office in the California primary on June 5 of this year. I sign off tonight with my current campaign slogan: “Time for REAL Change!”