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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid