Visual source: Newseum
Memorandum to Republican activists, voters and donors: Your presidential field is set. It’s time to start sizing up the candidates, learning to love at least one of them and preparing to head toward the voting booth.
Herman Cain has moved into a tie with Mitt Romney atop the field of Republican presidential candidates, according to a new CBS News poll, while Rick Perry has fallen 11 percentage points in just two weeks.
Rick Perry’s Positive Intensity Score among Republicans familiar with him is down sharply to 15 from 24 two weeks ago. Herman Cain’s current score of 30 is the highest Gallup has measured for any GOP presidential candidate to date, and much better than any other candidate’s current score.
Conservatives — particularly those aligned with the tea party movement — have spent much of the year looking for an alternative to Romney, a nomadic journey that has led them to latch on to reality TV star Donald Trump, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and, most recently, businessman Herman Cain.
Each of those anti-Romneys have proven to be something less than advertised — with the possible exception of Trump who performed roughly equivalent to the lowest possible expectations that people had for him.
As I tried to argue a week ago, barring asteroid strike or its political counterpart, the Republican field is in fact set, and Mitt Romney plods steadily ahead. Things change in politics, but at this stage in a race they don’t change via the appearance of out-of-the-blue plausible new entries. Romney, Perry, Cain, et al: it’s up to you.
Greg Dworkin (that’s me):
Chris Christie is a smart guy. Instead of being the next Fred Thompson (after Rick Perry’s sharp rise and steep fall), he realized that in the end he wasn’t going to win the hearts and minds of people who think Perry is too liberal. This helps Steady Eddie Romney more than anyone else. Herman Cain will have his moment, and Rick Santorum will as well, but in fact this is the unexciting Romney’s contest to lose.
Ta-Nehisi Coates on ‘Niggerhead’:
In all seriousness, I think this says very little about Rick Perry, and a lot more about the country he seeks to govern…
We can talk about Skip Gates wrongful arrest. Or we can pass health-care. We can not do both.