Posted by | December 29, 2011 21:01 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

In 2008, Democrats talked about there being “three tickets out of Iowa” and indeed after the caucuses only then-Senators Obama and Clinton and some guy from North Carolina that we’d prefer to forget remained viable candidates.  Now the question is how many Republicans will be around after Tuesday?  Governor Romney certainly, regardless of his performance.  Rep. Paul will do well enough to stay in the race.  Gov. Huntsman is not competing in Iowa (but will get knocked out in NH).  And now everyone is talking about the Santorum surge.

The extent to which Rick Santorum has gained in Iowa polling is not entirely clear. Although two polls have him with 16 percent of the vote, two others that were in the field at the same time have him at 10 and 11 percent, respectively.

Nevertheless, Mr. Santorum can make the most credible claim of any candidate about having momentum in the state.

I think Speaker Gingrich stays in unless he fails to make double digits.  That leaves Rep. Bachmann and Governor Perry in real trouble.  I see the two of them and Santorum as competing for the final ticket (and Newt competing with the 10 percent barrier).  One thing is for sure, if Santorum knocks out Perry and Gingrich here, start getting the Romney nomination party ready.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.