New Jersey Governor Chris Christie finally made it official yesterday during a press conference that he will not run for president for 2012. Thus ending weeks and months of speculation. The big winner appears to be Herman Cain, who is running for president for 2012. A month ago, Cain has part of the second tier of GOP candidates, generally in the low, single digits in the polls. Now, Cain has risen to second place just behind Mitt Romney. Cain has benefited greatly from the decline of Rick Perry in the polls. After three debates and press attacks on Rick Perry′s hunting camp, attempting to portray Perry as a racist, Herman Cain has leaped ahead into a genuine contender.
With the field of Republican presidential candidates for 2012 now apparently locked in, what can we expect to see next? For starters, fund raising will become critical as the primary schedule advances due to Florida moving their date up to January 31. South Carolina has already responded to this by moving their primary date to January 21. Unsettled as of yet are Iowa, which could hold its caucus either in early January or even late December, New Hampshire, which may chose to switch to either January 3 or 10, followed by Nevada a week later.
Losing a whole month could be an issue with some campaigns still struggling for recognition. The early thinking is that with Gov. Christie now out of the race, Mitt Romney will benefit the most from money that has been sitting on the side lines. But not so fast! A major reason for those who tried to push Christie into the race was the dissatisfaction with Romney. While he has become the default front runner now that Perry stumbled in the polls, Romney has been stuck in the low to mid 20% range ever since he started his run for the White House. Herman Cain, and even Newt Gingrich, have picked up points in the polls that once belonged to Rick Perry, who is far from out of the race. Even with the lack luster debates and immigration issues, Perry raised $17 Million dollars last month.
Now that Chris Christie is completely out of the 2012 presidential race, will the Media continue to beat up Rick Perry, or will they shift their focus to the current front runners, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain? More to the point, can Mitt Romney get past ′Obamney-Care′ and break out of the 20% range in the polls? The next two GOP debates, October 11 and 18, should help clear the road for whoever is going to make a splash as the actual voting begins in January.