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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs