Newt Gingrich is in a very good position to turn this into a Romney-Cain-Gingrich race. Gingrich, however, is counting on victory in Georgia, and right now Cain is leading him by a whopping 41-17. Gingrich needs two things to happen: Perry must continue his downward trend and other candidates must knock Cain off balance. The most likely ones to do this are Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann.
Santorum and Bachmann are tied, with polls differing on which one has a very slight lead. They need Cain and Perry to drop fast. Most likely, they’ll hammer Cain on his many foreign policy stumbles. He had no plan for Afghanistan and defended himself in August with, “I have learned more about Afghanistan,” essentially admitting he began running for president of a country whose war he was unfamiliar with. He said he had no plan for the war on terror because he wanted to wait to get access to classified information. In an interview in May, he didn’t know what the Palestinian “right of return” issue was and admitted, “I know more about the Palestinian right of return issue now than I did then.” And, as I’ve written about, he visited a top Muslim Brotherhood mosque while he was winning applause for slamming Sharia law.
Jon Huntsman, though he’s still in last place in almost every national poll (because they usually don’t include Gary Johnson or Buddy Roemer), actually has momentum in New Hampshire. He is in third place in the Granite State, four points behind Ron Paul. Romney is way ahead with 41 percent, but there’s still interesting movement in the competition. Huntsman received his biggest applause during the last debate when he said he’d bring home the troops from Afghanistan, and performed well when confronted by Santorum. He plans to double-down on this issue, and will be outlining his foreign policy vision in New Hampshire the day before the debate.
Ron Paul has set himself up to get hit hard because he questioned the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki. Paul seems to have hit his ceiling.
Mark October 11 on your calendars. It’s going to be a fun night.