What Perry’s Drop Out Means

Today, January 19, Rick Perry announced he was dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination. In doing so, he endorsed Gingrich. The effect of this remains to be seen, however I feel that it will not have a major effect on the race. In South Carolina, Gingrich has been surging somewhat in the polls, however he is still behind Romney. If Romney can keep his lead and win the South Carolina primaries, he will most likely be the Republican nominee. Time is running out to derail Romney, but I feel that it will not happen.

There is one way I can see Romney losing the nomination. If either Gingrich or Sanatorum were to drop out and endorse the other, it could give a unified candidate for social conservatives to coalesce around. With this, Romney would no longer be able to rely on the splintering of the conservative vote, which is what allowed him to do so well in Iowa and is what has allowed him to poll so well in South Carolina. If social conservatives were able to focus on supporting a single candidate, Romney would have a serious dilemma to deal with, and might lose South Carolina. If Romney were to lose South Carolina, this race would drag on significantly longer, and might turn into a race for delegates over a race for wins in the early voting states. While the effect of Perry dropping out remains to be seen, depending upon the next couple days it could complicate the race greatly for Romney and overall slow his momentum.

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