News / USA

    After Iowa, How Far Can the Candidates Go?

    There were three strong finishers in the Republican half of the Iowa presidential caucuses Tuesday night.

    A surprising and new top-tier emerged in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa. There was the winner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney; the close runner-up, former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who finished third.  

    Still, the Iowa caucuses are not known for their predictive value, but for their ability to narrow the field.  

    Michele Bachmann finished sixth and announced that she is suspending her campaign.

    "And so last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice and so I have decided to stand aside," she said.

    Jennifer Lawless, a professor at American University in Washington, says Iowa also sent a signal to the victor.

    "Mitt Romney won, but he still only has 25 percent of that vote.  He will probably do a little better than that percentage in New Hampshire, but that's a part of, an artifact not only of him being from [the region] New England but also fewer candidates in the race.  And so Iowa sent a clear message that he still has not really sealed the deal with the base," she said.

    And it is not only the base that Romney has to win over.  Even though he is widely viewed as the strongest contender in a battle against President Barack Obama, he is not embraced by his conservative Republican rivals.

    Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who finished fourth in Iowa, views it this way.

    "But let's be clear. One of the things which became obvious in the last few weeks in Iowa is that there will be a great debate in the Republican Party before we are prepared to have a great debate with Barack Obama," Gingrich said.

    Gingrich is continuing in the race, but Lawless says his words suggest he is abandoning his goal of being his party's nominee.

    "Instead it seems that he's now going to be a single-minded seeker of destroying Mitt Romney, and he began that campaign last night," she said.

    Socially conservative voters who have been split among Texas Governor Rick Perry, Bachmann and Gingrich might now rally around second-place finisher Rick Santorum.  He surged in the polls only days ahead of the caucuses, thriving on evangelical support, but that top-tier status might be short-lived.

    "He hasn't had the opportunity to fall yet, but he hasn't been vetted.  He hasn't been the target of negative ads, and Mitt Romney's venom hasn't been directed at him yet," Lawless said.  

    Romney is expected to do well in the New Hampshire primary January 10.  Santorum is expected to do well later this month in conservative South Carolina's primary.  

    But what chance has Ron Paul in his third run for the presidency?  

    Not much, says Lawless, who authored the book "Becoming a Candidate".

    "It is virtually impossible to imagine a path to the presidency for Ron Paul," Lawless said.

    While Paul has fervent supporters, his isolationist views and calls for a radically smaller government do not have broad appeal among many Republicans.  That leaves more room for the front-runner Mitt Romney and the other candidates.

    Click on each candidate's photo for a brief summary:


    Texas Governor Rick Perry has held the top leadership position in one of the largest U.S. states since George W. Bush left the post to assume the U.S. presidency in 2000.

    He pledges to reduce the size of the federal government. Perry's plan includes eliminating some federal agencies, such as the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Energy.

    Perry is campaigning on economic policy, holding up his record in Texas as an example of how he could improve the national economy. He has been an outspoken opponent of the Obama administration's health care reform plan. He is a conservative Christian and has signed several state laws making it more difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion. He also supports the death penalty.

    In 1988 he supported the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. Perry switched his affiliation to the Republican Party a year later.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora