My Arkansas News Bureau column today was a somewhat painful admission that it appears Mitt Romney has the advantage in the race for the Republican nomination.
It is painful in the sense that he is not personally my favorite choice. I lay out a number of factors, but primarily he is steadily treading on as the typical generic Republican frontrunner candidate while no one has yet caught fire as the consensus alternative.
You can read my full column here but let me add a couple of notes.
First, Rick Perry – the choice of many Republican state legislators whom I respect – has simply not impressed me. I think you will find a general consensus among conservatives on this fact. However, he has impressed a lot of big donors pulling in $17 million for his campaign. Perry’s challenge is winning back the conservative activists he has lost. It is not impossible for him to do that, but it will be tough.
Secondly, Herman Cain – the man of the moment – has by contrast to Perry energized conservative activists but not yet picked up the big donors that provide the funding needed to run a campaign. He is new to the scrutiny that top-tier candidates receive, meaning the Republican debate on Tuesday will be critical for him. I also have not seen details of what his early state campaign strategy is. This is important because he would need a quick knockout to win the nomination. The longer the primary lasts, the more it favors the campaign with more funds.
This are plenty of other candidates that could break out of the pack, but with less than three months until voting begins, they are going to have to do it quickly.
All of this adds up to, at this point, an advantage for Romney.
For extra credit, read why John Brummett thinks Lt. Gov. Mark Darr’s and Congressman Tim Griffin’s endorsements matter to Mitt.